Conflict Between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Conflict Between Armenia and Azerbaijan

An outbreak of military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

 

Nagorno-Karabakh—the disputed region between Armenia and Azerbaijan—faces increased risk of renewed hostilities due to the failure of mediation efforts, escalating militarization, and frequent ceasefire violations.

Although 95 percent of Nagorno-Karabakh is ethnically Armenian, it is internationally recognized as being part of Azerbaijan. The conflict over the secessionist territory officially ended with a ceasefire in 1993, following a six-year war, but recently flared up again. Since August 2014, minor skirmishes between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops have killed dozens of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops and also led to the downing of an Armenian helicopter by Azerbaijani forces in November 2014.

Negotiation and mediation efforts, primarily led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, have failed to produce a permanent solution to the conflict. Russian-mediated peace talks have also failed to produce any concrete steps toward deescalation. Without successful mediation efforts, cease-fire violations and renewed tensions threaten to renew a military conflict between the countries and destabilize the South Caucasus region.

Increased tensions could also disrupt oil and gas exports from the region—since Azerbaijan is a significant oil and gas exporter to Europe and Central Asia, producing 881,000 barrels of oil per day—while harming U.S. economic interests and creating a spike in the global oil market.

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