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Azerbaijan Increasingly Airing Grievances with Russia

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov speak during a joint press conference in Moscow on March 6. Azerbaijan is increasingly dissatisfied with Russia’s role as a mediator in the conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, and Baku’s frustration is starting to seep out in public. (Photo: Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Azerbaijan is increasingly dissatisfied with Russia’s role as a mediator in the conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. And Baku’s frustration is starting to seep out in public.
 
The trigger, according to government officials and analysts in Baku, was Russia’s response to the flare-up in fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in April 2016. Azerbaijani leaders expected that the fighting – the worst bout of violence in and around Karabakh in over two decades – would prompt Russia to use its influence over Armenia, a treaty ally of Moscow’s that is dependent on Russian arms supplies, to become more pliable in Karabakh peace negotiations.
 
But Russia has instead taken a more passive approach, officials in Baku complain. The growing rift between Moscow and Baku could complicate efforts to reach a resolution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, for which Russia remains an indispensable mediator.
 

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Zaur Shiriyev is an Academy Associate at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).

Azerbaijan Increasingly Airing Grievances with Russia

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