CrisisWatch Azerbaijan

Unchanged Situation

Baku and Yerevan remained at odds on key issues in peace process amid spike in reported incidents along frontline; Azerbaijan and Iran conducted military drills. 

Lack of consensus with Yerevan on key issues could hinder efforts for peace deal. Armenia and Azerbaijan exchanged draft peace treaty during month amid recent positive momentum in peace process. Yet sides remain far apart on important issues, including withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia and opening of road that connects Azerbaijan with its exclave, Nakhchivan. Pointing to another sticking point, President Aliyev 20 June once again said Yerevan needed to amend its constitution, which includes references to former Nagorno-Karabakh. Day before, local media revealed that Armenian PM Pashinyan had instructed Council of Constitutional Reforms to draft new constitution by end of 2026. With these contentious issues entering public domain and parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan approaching (see below), it remains unclear whether sides can sign peace treaty before Nov Cop29, which will be held in Azerbaijan.

Baku reported multiple incidents along frontline. Ministry of Defence mid-June alleged several times that Armenian troops opened fire at military positions, mostly in direction of Nakhchivan. Yerevan denied involvement as Pashinyan 15 June suggested new bilateral mechanism to investigate border incidents, 22 June reiterated proposal after Baku reported another incident in its Kelbajar district, key flashpoint since 2020 war; Baku had not responded to proposition by end of June.

In other important developments. President Aliyev 28 June signed decree scheduling snap parliamentary elections for 1 Sept. On international front, Azerbaijan and Iran 13 June conducted joint military exercise in latter’s West Azerbaijan province amid thawing relations; Paris 18 June announced deal to sell around 30 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers to Armenia amid deteriorating relations with Baku; top Italian officials 26 June met Aliyev and FM Bayramov in Baku, resulting in agreement to bolster ties; and top U.S. official James O’Brien 28 June met with Aliyev to discuss COP29 and peace deal, indicating possible warming of relations following tensions in recent months.

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