This article is the English version of Gaïdz Minassian,
« Arménie-Azerbaïdjan : la paix dans l’impasse ? », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 88, Issue 1, 2023.
Despite the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan ending on November 9, 2020, with Baku achieving military victory after forty-four days of exceptionally ferocious fighting, tensions have not reduced since the ceasefire was signed. On the contrary, the repercussions of Russia’s war in Ukraine have taken the strain up a notch. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) has been gripped by a dialectic of peace and war that has hindered the development of all three states in both economic and sovereignty terms, to the point that they are now truly “wounded soldiers” of the post-Soviet era.
Shortly after the end of the Cold War and Armenia’s victory in the First Nagorno-Karabakh War —over an Armenian province given to Azerbaijan in 1921 by Stalin—Armenia had a strategic advantage over Baku. However, Azerbaijan’s victory in the third war, in fall 2020, moved the balance of power away from Yerevan. The new situation benefits Azerbaijan, but is even more advantageous for the neoimperial powers (Russia and Turkey), as their shared interests in the region have led to the dewesternization of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem by disabling the Minsk Group. Set up by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 1992 and cochaired by France, the United States, and Russia, the goal of the Minsk Group was to find a political solution to this conflict.
Postwar international mediation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have confused the issue of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the extent that the future of the South Caucasus now depends largely on what happens in Ukraine…
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