CSTO to remain headless another year – report

Joshua Kucera Feb 22, 2019
CSTO CSTO member state heads of state meet at the group's las summit, in St. Petersburg in November. The group has operated without a secretary general since then. (photo; CSTO)

As the leadership struggle between Armenia and the rest of the Collective Security Treaty Organization drags on, Russia – which dominates the group – is coming to the conclusion that the solution may just be not to name a secretary general until Armenia’s current term expires next year.

Armenia sends military deminers and medics to support Russian mission in Syria

Joshua Kucera Feb 8, 2019
Armenian soldiers Armenian soldiers being deployed to Syria. (photo: Ministry of Defense of Armenia.)

Armenia has sent 83 soldiers to Syria as part of a Russian-backed demining and humanitarian mission there.

For years, Russia has been asking its military allies to help out in Syria, but until now no one has taken them up on the offer. The Armenian offer comes as Yerevan-Moscow ties have been frayed following the rise to power of Nikol Pashinyan and his team of pro-Western allies.

New book claims to expose Karabakh as international crime hub

Joshua Kucera Feb 6, 2019
Narco Karabakh The cover of a new book/black PR effort published under mysterious circumstances.

A new book claims to expose Nagorno-Karabakh as an international hub of drug, arms, and human smuggling. But the book’s murky origins and hard-to-support allegations suggest instead an elaborate effort to spread black PR in the international media against Karabakh and the Armenian forces who control it.

Peace? Not so fast, many Armenians and Azerbaijanis say

Joshua Kucera Jan 18, 2019
Armenia-Azerbaijan The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, along with international mediators, met in Paris on January 16. The optimistic result from the meeting was greeted suspiciously by many in the region. (photo: MFA Azerbaijan)

News that Armenia and Azerbaijan had made a small step toward peace was welcomed by observers as a rare sign of hope in the conflict between the two countries. But many leading voices in the region reacted negatively to the news, vividly illustrating the hardened attitudes toward the sorts of compromises that would be necessary to achieve a real peace deal.

Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to “prepare populations for peace”

Joshua Kucera Jan 17, 2019
OSCE Minsk The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, along with international mediators, met in Paris on January 16. (photo: MFA Azerbaijan)

The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan have met and agreed on the need to prepare their populations for peace and to discuss possibilities to cooperate economically. The optimistic statements following the meeting were a yet another sign of a marked decrease in diplomatic tensions between the two sides over the last few months.

Russia raises gas prices for Armenia in the new year

Joshua Kucera Jan 3, 2019
pashinyan and putin Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on December 27. Days later, Russia announced it was increasing the price of natural gas it sells to Armenia. (photo: kremlin.ru)

Russia has raised the price for the gas it sells to Armenia by 10 percent. The negotiations over the gas price were seen as a litmus test for the new government in Yerevan and its ability to deal with its often overbearing ally in Moscow.

Azerbaijani reactions to Armenian elections range from scorn to optimism

Joshua Kucera Dec 11, 2018
Pashinyan Karabakh Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visits the grave of an Armenian soldier killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan reacted variously to Pashinyan's big win in parliamentary elections December 9. (photo: primeminister.am)

Azerbaijani’s government and media have heaped scorn on the recent elections in Armenia, but some optimists in the country found reason for hope that a new leadership in Yerevan could lead to progress in resolving the two countries’ ongoing conflict.

Pashinyan-Lukashenko spat intensifies, threatening CSTO schism

Joshua Kucera Nov 21, 2018
Lukashenko Aliyev Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Kukashenko, at a friendly meeting in Minsk. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has taken aim at the close ties between Minsk, its nominal ally, and Baku. (photo: president.az)

Long-running tensions between Yerevan and Minsk have broken into the open in recent days after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko criticized Armenia for trying to bring “street politics” into international diplomacy while warmly hosting Ilham Aliyev, the president of Armenia’s foe, Azerbaijan.