Explained: Why Armenia and Azerbaijan are at loggerheads over Nagorno-Karabakh again

Context: Clashes erupted between majority Christian Armenia and mainly Muslim Azerbaijan again over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region, reigniting concern about instability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets.

  • Both sides, which fought a war in the 1990s, reported fatalities.

What is this conflict about?

  • For approximately four decades, territorial disputes and ethnic conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Central Asia have impacted the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It is now run by ethnic Armenians
  • Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, after thousands of people were killed and many more displaced, Azerbaijan and Armenia frequently accuse each other of attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the separate Azeri-Armenian frontier.
  • Pipelines shipping Caspian oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan to the world pass close to Nagorno-Karabakh.

South Caucasus

  • The South Caucasus, comprising the states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, is internationally known for its conflicts after the break-up of the Soviet Union (USSR) of which it formed a part.
  • The South Caucasus continues to face various unresolved territorial conflicts such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, and between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. 
  • Caucasus mountain system and region lies between the Black Sea (west) and the Caspian Sea (east) and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Call Now Button