The world’s eyes on Ukraine, the standoff between Armenia and Azerbaijan is moving quickly, and Russia and the United States are unsure how to react. A 2020 Russian-brokered ceasefire concluded that the second Karabakh war had preferred neither full stability nor protection to the area. Even earlier to the Ukraine war, Moscow’s pacifists have suffered to do their jobs. But a new peace operation between Baku and Yerevan may become visible anyway with a new broker—the European Union—progressively active. These dynamic modifications over the previous two months highlight how Russia’s war is preparing for Ukraine’s shaking up the Eurasian terrain.
The dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in the late Soviet period when citizens of the ethnically Armenian autonomous area of Nagorno-Karabakh appealed that Moscow severs the region from the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic and connect it to the Armenian SSR. This step led to the arouse of patriotic sentiment on both sides and a protracted, bloody dispute.
After the separation of the Soviet Union, independent Azerbaijan on the one side and Karabakh Armenians and independent Armenia went to the other side of the war, leading to mass rearrangement and ethnic sanitisation. In 1994, the two sides signed a ceasefire contract, leaving the Armenian side with de facto control of the Karabakh area and surrounding territories related to Azerbaijan. Attempts to negotiate a durable peace contract by the United States, Russia, and France under the sponsorship of the OSCE Minsk Group were vain.
The major dispute broke out in 2016 and 2020. In the latter, 45 days of war conclude with Azerbaijani forces taking back most of the enclave it had lost two decades earlier, with Armenians in control of a rump Karabakh. Russia then deployed pacifists to Karabakh to guarantee the ceasefire it had arranged for the safety of the two groups and resolve the war that arose between them.
One of the positive conclusions of the 2020 war was that it detached several impediments to reconciliation and rapprochement in the area. Turkey, for example, had shut its land border with Armenia because of the latter’s occupation of the Azerbaijani enclave, and most transportation links betwixt the three countries were shrouded in the 1990s. But diplomacy since the 2020 war has the possibility for their reconditioning.
Previous year, Baku and Yerevan agreed to form a delimitation commission, formed a hotline between their defence ministers, and started talking directly with each other once again—all small signs of progress meant that time.
Yet, this progress has been accompanied by a dilemma. Azerbaijan seems to be using a new version of the intimidation model that Moscow prepared for Kyiv in the run-up to the February 24 invasion—namely military buildups along with the borderline of the two territories, coercive diplomacy, and occasional military hardwork to push deeper into Armenian-held nation.
The formation of diplomatic relations and the opening of regional transportation connections.
Azerbaijan was forced to distance itself quickly from a new partnership and “alliance” agreement it signed with Russia just before the dispute. It also chose not to vote on all three United Nations General Assembly resolutions condemning Russian actions in Ukraine, effectively charging a low foreign policy profile.