Armenian Concerns Persist Over Potential Renewed Conflict with Azerbaijan

Ongoing Armenia-Azerbaijan border tensions, despite peace talks, as Armenia faces pressure to cede territory, raising regional security concerns.

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Armenian Concerns Persist Over Potential Renewed Conflict with Azerbaijan

Armenian Concerns Persist Over Potential Renewed Conflict with Azerbaijan

Despite ongoing peace discussions, Armenian concerns over potential renewed conflict with Azerbaijan persist as of April 25, 2024. Armenians fear that Azerbaijan's demands for a free railroad corridor through Armenian territory and statements about 'Western Azerbaijan' signal an imminent invasion. The conflict has extended beyond Nagorno-Karabakh, with clashes along Armenia's recognized borders and shelling of cities deep inside Armenian territory.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have started the process of demarcating their border, with the installation of the first border markers based on geodetic measurements. This constitutes a meaningful step towards the peaceful resolution of the border dispute between the two countries. The relevant agreements were reached at the eighth meeting of the two countries' state commissions for border delimitation.

As part of this process, the Armenian government announced plans to transfer four villages in the Tavush region to Azerbaijan, igniting widespread criticism and protests from the local population and Armenians across the country. The protesters, led by the Tavush for the Homeland movement, accuse the government of betraying Armenian territorial integrity and exposing the country to further aggression from Azerbaijan.

Why this matters: The ongoing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over border demarcation and the potential for renewed conflict have significant regional implications. The outcome of the peace discussions and border delimitation process will shape the future stability and security of the Caucasus region.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressed optimism about a potential peace deal, stating that the two sides are "closer than ever before" and have a "common understanding" on the agreement. However, the border demarcation has faced protests in Armenia, with concerns that the country could lose more territory. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has agreed to return four border villages to Azerbaijan, but Armenian residents in nearby areas worry about being isolated and losing homes.

Armenians feel disillusioned with Russia, their traditional security guarantor, which stayed neutral in the recent conflict. As a result, Armenia is looking to diversify its foreign policy, including seeking closer ties with the EU, which has raised concerns from Russia and Azerbaijan. While Armenia and Azerbaijan are working towards a peace treaty, demarcating their borders, experts remain skeptical about the prospects for a lasting peace between the two countries.

Key Takeaways

  • Armenia-Azerbaijan peace talks ongoing, border demarcation underway
  • Armenia to transfer 4 villages in Tavush to Azerbaijan, sparking protests
  • Concerns persist over potential renewed conflict, Azerbaijan's territorial demands
  • Armenia diversifying foreign policy, seeking closer EU ties, worrying Russia
  • Experts skeptical about prospects for lasting peace between the two countries