After peace negotiations, threats of war break out between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Joshua Kucera Apr 1, 2019
Tonoyan Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan, inspecting positions near the border with Azerbaijan in May 2018. Tonoyan recently threatened to take more Azerbaijani territory. (photo: mil.am)

In the wake of the first meeting between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss a peace deal for their long-running conflict, a war of words has erupted between the two sides.

First formal Aliyev-Pashinyan meeting deemed a success

Joshua Kucera Mar 30, 2019
Aliyev Pashinyan Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan meet in Vienna. (photo: president.az)

The first formal meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev met the modest expectations that most observers had for it, with both sides assessing the negotiations positively and pledging to continue talks.

Post-Soviet conflict areas see promise, threat in Trump’s Golan Heights announcement

Joshua Kucera Mar 27, 2019
Trump Netanyahu U.S. President Donald Trump and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu show off a decree recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel. (photo: Twitter, Benjamin Netanyahu)

When U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would formally recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel, most of the rest of the world rejected the move. But he found an ally in the de facto leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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.