In a recent development, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan issued a stark warning about the escalating tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, raising concerns over the potential outbreak of a new war. The two nations have a long history of conflict over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with efforts toward a lasting peace treaty showing limited progress. Diplomatic mediation by the European Union, United States, and Russia has yielded few results, leaving the situation highly volatile and complex.

The closure of the Lachin corridor, the sole road linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, in July further strained the region’s already precarious humanitarian situation. The lack of essential supplies like food, medicines, and power has sparked concerns of a crisis unfolding, making it imperative for the international community to address the pressing needs of the affected population.

Russia’s Role and Armenia’s Dilemma

Armenia’s reliance on Russia for military and economic support has raised questions about Moscow’s effectiveness as a peacekeeping force in Nagorno-Karabakh. The 2020 Moscow-brokered ceasefire agreement has come under scrutiny, with accusations of Russia failing to fulfill its obligations, further complicating the peace talks.

Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Pashinyan’s call for increased pressure on Azerbaijan to lift its blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh highlights the need for both the West and Russia to play a more assertive role in the region. However, Azerbaijan’s aggressive rhetoric and alleged pursuit of ethnic cleansing policies continue to impede progress in the negotiations.

The conflict’s ramifications extend beyond territorial disputes, impacting the rights and security of the region’s ethnic-Armenian population. The delicate balance between recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan while ensuring international mechanisms for protecting its people remains a significant challenge in the peace process.

International Witness and Diplomatic Efforts

As tensions persist, the international community must act as a witness to the dialogue between Karabakh and Azerbaijan, fostering an atmosphere of trust and accountability. With the stakes high and historical grievances deep-rooted, the path toward lasting peace requires careful diplomatic navigation and a concerted effort from all parties involved. The potential consequences of a new war are grave, with thousands of lives at risk and the stability of the entire Caucasus region hanging in the balance.