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. In early August 2014, minor skirmishes escalated into violence that has since killed over a dozen Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.

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. The most recent round of Russian-mediated peace talks failed to produce any concrete steps toward deescalation. Without successful mediation efforts, cease-fire violations and escalating 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 850,000 barrels of oil per day—while harming U.S. economic interests and creating a spike in the global oil market.

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