Karabakh Tensions

Following peace process negotiations with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, European Council President Charles Michel indicated on May 22 in Brussels that the first meeting of a joint committee on the delineation and security of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border will take place shortly.

Prior to a trilateral peace process conference at which a peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh was considered, Michel held bilateral discussions with both Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. In a 2020 conflict, Armenia lost control of sections of the separatist territory, which concluded with a cease-fire arranged by Russia and monitored by an estimated 2,000 Russian soldiers.

The Heads Have Been Advancing The Peace Process Without Delays 

Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under ethnic Armenian rule for over three decades, is now considered part of Azerbaijan by the world community. Pashinian has been under fire since he and Aliyev agreed in Brussels last month to start crafting a peace treaty to end the conflict and establish a joint commission to demarcate their shared boundary.

Aliyev informed Michel “that Azerbaijan has put forth five criteria based on international law for the restoration of ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the signing of a peace deal,” according to a statement from Azerbaijan.

Pashinian has declared publicly that the elements are in principle acceptable to Yerevan, stoking Armenian opposition assertions that he is willing to acknowledge Azerbaijani sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh. Hundreds of peace process protestors have been arrested by Armenian police in Yerevan during opposition-led rallies aimed at forcing Pashinian out of government.

Pashinian, who said he agreed to the 2020 cease-fire to spare more casualties, said he would not sign any peace agreement with Azerbaijan without first meeting ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.