August 27th, 2013
Azerbaijan on Tuesday strongly condemned a visit to Nagorno-Karabakh by a group of Russian journalists and public figures, among them the famous former spy Anna Chapman.
The Russian delegation arrived in Stepanakert for meetings and interviews with officials.
Azerbaijan condemned the visit organized by a Russian-Armenian advocacy group as an infringement of its sovereignty over Karabakh. Elman Abdullayev, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman, told the APA news agency that Chapman and the other Russian dignitaries will be declared personae non gratae in Azerbaijan if information about their trip is officially confirmed.
30 August 2013
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be solved in the near future, the Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, the Chairman of the State Committee for Deals of Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov told journalists on Friday.
Deputy Prime Minister noted that August 31 is the day of occupation of Azerbaijan's Gubadli district and added that in the near future Azerbaijan will liberate its lands occupied by Armenia.
September 2, 2013
Some believed that the Armenian leader was expected to pick between the Customs Union and EU Associated Membership, choosing between Russia and Europe.
Thus, Sargsyan will have to persuade Putin that the economic element of the Association Agreement won’t lead to changes in the military and political sector of cooperation.
Other experts believe the Karabakh conflict settlement in the light of the oncoming presidential election in Azerbaijan to become the key issue of the meeting agenda.
September 2, 2013
The Armenian side has purchased more arms in the past 3 years than in the preceding 20 years, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said today during his visit to a military unit of the Defense Army of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
The prime minister is on a working visit to Nagorno Karabakh on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the NKR’s independence, the government press service said.
September 9th, 2013
On September 9, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Karen Mirzoyan, received a delegation of Danish members of parliament and journalists who were in Stepanakert on a visit.
Karen Mirzoyan noted that direct contacts with political figures and representatives of the media form a truthful and objective picture of Karabakh and the political and economical processes taking place there.
9 September, 2013
Welcoming the guests and expressing satisfaction on the visit Chairman of National Assembly mentioned: “I am sure that your visit is the best way to get acquainted with the situation in place and without such contacts it is difficult to imagine any solution to a conflict no matter here or in another place”.
Thanking for the reception Mrs. Hansen said that it is their first visit to Artsakh and they intend to know many things about Nagorno-Karabakh during various meetings. During the conversation different issues were discussed relating to process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, structure of National Assembly, legislative activities, parties introduced in the parliament, social-economic life of the country. Chairman of NKR National Assembly gave necessary clarifications to the guests when answering their questions
11 September 2013
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry is scrutinizing the reports about the visit by Danish parliament members and journalists to the Armenian-occupied territories of Azerbaijan, spokesman Elman Abdullayev has said.
The delegation was received by Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan, Armenian media reported.
The delegation was reportedly headed by Chairwoman of the Committee on European Affairs of the Danish Parliament, Eva Kjer Hansen.
Abdullayev said that the Azerbaijani embassy in the UK was issued the necessary instructions, and a relevant decision will be made upon completion of the scrutiny.
The ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UK is also accredited to Denmark.
As soon as the list of persons who have paid the illegal visit is defined, Baku will state its clear position on the issue, Abdullayev said.
He said "the list of persona non grata" may be reconsidered in case any of them admits his or her mistake by making a relevant request to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
11 September 2013
The statement appraised the productive and multilateral cooperation between Oklahoma National Guard and Azerbaijani Armed Forces, and reminded that over 190 exchange projects have been realized in 10 years.
The statement's authors once again underscored that Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of the U.S. and that the country has supported international military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans.
The authors also appraised the contribution of Azerbaijan to the energy security of the world and Europe and emphasized the support of the U.S. to Azerbaijan in this sphere.
It should be mentioned that, during the visit of Oklahoma National Guard Commander Major General Myles Deering in Azerbaijan on August 10-16 the cooperation possibilities between Azerbaijan and the U.S. state of Oklahoma were also discussed.
Sep. 11 2013
The total value of the contract awarded to a consortium led by Bombardier Transportation is about $288-million (U.S.), including $203-million for work to be done by the Montreal-based company’s rail division.
The contract from Azerbaijan Railways CJSC is for a transport corridor connecting Asia and Europe.
It would seem that the United States and Karabakh are very far apart. Why do the Americans need this unrecognized republic and stalled conflict? But things are not that simple, and in global politics a small region at the right moment can play a very important role for the global players. The United States has plans for the territory of Karabakh.
"The United States cannot give up the idea of launching a war with Iran. To do that, the Americans need to have territories in close proximity to Iran reachable by the American aircraft," said Zakharov.
Azerbaijan, according to Zakharov, is not suitable for the role of a springboard for U.S. aircraft because Tehran warned of the possibility of retaliation against the republic if it provides active military aid to the U.S." The Americans need to keep its satellite intact. Karabakh is a great temporary strip for commencing military action," said Zakharov.
His assumption is confirmed by the fact that the U.S. has requested the UN's agreement on the deployment of U.S. peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh for the second time. So far the UN has not given a positive response.
Deployment of the American peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of the plan to invade Iran. U.S. troops withdrawn from Afghanistan will be stationed in Azerbaijan. A U.S. war with Iran could start with large-scale operations of Azerbaijan troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. After that the U.S. forces will enter the Nagorno-Karabakh with a peacekeeping mission. Then these "peacekeepers" will take part in the military campaign against Iran.
15 September 2013
The delegation will meet with officials of Armenia and will visit Nagorno Karabakh during the visit, scheduled for Sept. 15-24. "We are hopeful that this first in kind mission would leave a lasting impact and contribute to strengthening political contacts between the Armenia and State of California" - former Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Grigor Hovhannissian.
Thousands of opposition supporters demanded the resignation of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev at a rally in the capital Baku today.
Aliyev is seeking a third term in office in the Oct. 9 election.
Aliyev, 51, succeeded his father Heydar Aliyev in disputed presidential elections 10 years ago. His family has ruled the energy-rich Caspian Sea nation for more than 40 years.
Azerbaijan ranks among the most repressive countries in the world, in part for its intolerance toward opposition groups, according to Freedom House, a Washington-based democracy advocate partly funded by the U.S. government.
September 22, 2013
With the approaching Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, there has been growing public interest in taking legal action against Turkey in international courts.
A confidential 1943 document, declassified by the Central Intelligence Agency, reveals that the US government was well aware of the Armenian demands for recognition of the "atrocities" and return of Turkish occupied "provinces."
The document dated December 13, 1943, authored by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the CIA, stated:
Even more unforgivable in the eyes of Armenians is the fact that Turkey holds provinces which, they are firmly convinced, belong rightfully to Armenia. Restitution of these provinces to Armenia is the goal of all Armenians." Elsewhere in the document, OSS accurately reported that "Armenians, almost without exception, entertain feelings of deepest suspicion, hostility, and fear" toward Turkey.
23 September 2013
While cross-border gunfire involving Azerbaijani and Armenian forces is all too common, a recent sharp increase in incidents has left analysts wondering what is going on.
The consensus is that the skirmishes are not a precursor to wider hostilities. Instead, commentators on each side believe they are a reflection of domestic political problems in the other country.
Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said the nature of the “enemy action” was unusual.
“This isn’t reconnaissance, nor is it designed to improve their position, or to prepare for sweeping military operations,” he said. “The Azerbaijanis’ aim is to inflict as much harm as possible on our military personnel.”
In Azerbaijan, officials said it was the Armenians who started or at least provoked the shooting. The Defense Ministry said its monitoring indicated that most of the gunfire was taking place around Karabakh and on the border with Nakhichevan.
Baku continues to purchase high-tech weaponry, and Aliev and other officials often warn that if talks on the future of Karabakh ultimately fail, the army is capable of retaking it by force.
Armenian officials are clearly unsettled by this build-up but hope their longstanding alliance with Moscow will safeguard them.
Europe Briefing N°71 - 26 Sep 2013
Confrontation, low-intensity but volatile, between Azerbaijan and Armenia has entered a period of heightened sensitivity. Peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh bogged down in 2011, accelerating an arms race and intensifying strident rhetoric. Terms like “Blitzkrieg’’, “pre-emptive strike’’ and ‘‘total war” have gained currency with both sides’ planners. An immediate concern is military miscalculation, with implications that could far exceed those of a localised post-Soviet frozen conflict, as the South Caucasus, a region where big powers meet and compete, is now also a major energy corridor. Clashes increasingly occur along the Azerbaijani-Armenian frontier far from Nagorno-Karabakh, the conflict’s original focus.
Crisis Group has written extensively for years on the dangers posed by this unresolved conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. This briefing does not predict a second war is either imminent or more likely than not. It does suggest the near-term threats to stability are becoming more acute.
27 September 2013
The new U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, expressed concern over the tension on the Line of Contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces in an interview with VOA Armenia.
"I had an opportunity to travel with the OSCE to the Line of Contact. There is tension. I think what we want to do is to prevent active hostilities from breaking out. There are incidents on the regular basis, and there are people who are killed in these hostilities," Warlick said.
Despite the monitoring by OSCE representatives, the situation on the Line of Contact remains tense due to frequent ceasefire violations by the Armenian troops.
The Armenian forces almost every day open fire at the Azerbaijani positions in different areas of the frontline -- mostly in Gazakh, Aghdam, Fizuli, Goranboy and Terter regions.
US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick has given an interview in which he spoke about his first visit to the region and about some aspects of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Mr. Warlick said to the Voice of America that his main task was to get familiarized with the situation on the ground and to listen to the parties. The main message, which he received from not only the political leadership but also others, was that the time has come for the settlement. He said that all the sides are interested in peace as no one wants the resumption of the war.
To the journalist’s question concerning president Aliyev’s latest speech in which he again used military rhetoric, called the Armenians “fascists” and spoke about Azerbaijan’s military power, Warlick said: “We should all be concerned about the rhetoric that could lead to greater conflict and not bring about peace”.
Mr. Warlick also said he was pleased to visit Nagorno-Karabakh as part of OSCE mission. What he observed however was an active line of contact and tension on the border. He thus stressed the importance of Minsk Group efforts in preventing active hostilities from breaking out.
AFP, Wednesday 2 Oct 2013
Azerbaijan on Wednesday accused Armenia of resettling Syrian refugees in a disputed territory the two have been fighting over for decades.
Azerbaijan's UN ambassador said the rival neighbor had started a "very dangerous process with unpredictable consequences" by moving Syrian Armenians into Nagorny Karabakh.
Armenia says it has accepted more than 10,000 ethnic Armenians but has not confirmed they have been moved to Nagorny Karabakh.
Tens of thousands of Armenians fled to Syria after the mass killing of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey during World War I.
STRASBOURG, OCTOBER 2, ARMENPRESS. All the three main principles of the Helsinki final act must function jointly. Armenia is willing to reach agreement based on them. But in case of resuming the military activities, Azerbaijan will start talking about the loss of major territories. The President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan stated this at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. "The OSCE Minsk Group is engaged in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and the negotiations are ongoing. Notwithstanding Azerbaijan has shown for a number of times that they do not accept the two principles put forward by the Co-Chairs, and among them is the right of self-determination of the nations."
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 12, ARMENPRESS.
According to the operational data of the Defense Army of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh from 6 to 12 October, the ceasefire regime was violated by the opponent around 200 times in the line of Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forces.
Azerbaijan, Baku, October 12 /Trend/
Armenian armed forces opened fire at positions of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the positions located near the villages of Merzili of Agdam region, Kuropatkino of Khojavend region, Gizil Oba of Tartar region and from the positions located at the nameless heights in the territory of Goygol region yesterday and last night, Azerbaijani Defence Ministry's press service told Trend on Saturday.
The shooting was countered by return fire.
In Azerbaijan, few people believe in the peaceful settlement of the conflict, the article says. Ani, a young Armenian from Yerevan says: "Nagorno-Karabakh is our territory, and if we will have to give up even one inch of land, I'll go to war. This is our history. "
Memories in Nagorno-Karabakh are still too fresh to think about opening the border, writes the reporter. Everyone in Karabakh is ready for war. "If the war ever starts, many young people will come as volunteers, just like Suren, who wants to leave for Russia, but says: "I'll be back to fight. I must do this," the article reads.
Today, the OSCE Mission’s scheduled monitoring of the contact line between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azeri military forces in the Hadrut direction was stopped after Azeri forces began to fire at the NKR Defense Army’s posts.
The shots were recorded by the monitoring groups on both sides.
November 1, 2013
The commander of Russia's troops in Armenia has said those troops could be used in a conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh, the first time that a Russian officer has publicly made such a claim.
“If Azerbaijan decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force the [Russian] military base may join in the armed conflict in accordance with the Russian Federation’s obligations within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)."
It's never been entirely clear how Russia would see the collective security provisions of the CSTO in the event of a conflict over Karabakh. While they would seem to clearly obtain if Azerbaijan attacked Armenia itself, since Karabakh is in de jure Azerbaijani territory, one could easily imagine Russia saying that a conflict restricted to that territory would be none of its business. But there really isn't any room for interpretation there, and this seems like a clear Russian shot across Azerbaijan's bow.
In an interview with the Russian Defense Ministry’s newspaper late last month, Col. Andrey Ruzinsky, commander of the 102nd Military Base at Gyumri in Armenia affirmed Russia’s preparedness and intention to “join the armed conflict” against Azerbaijan if it “decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force."
It is of course an open secret to all in the region as well as to Eurasianists in the EU that the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute is a Russian proxy conflict, maintained in simmering stasis by Russian arms sales to both sides so that Moscow can sustain leverage over Armenia, Azerbaijan and by its geographic proximity Georgia.
Unlike with Georgia's separatist territories where Russian leaders had to concoct the bizarre pretext that their armed forces were defending two minuscule independent statelets, over Nagorno-Karabakh, Moscow can just invoke its mutual defense pact with Armenia and its CSTO obligations.
In the eyes of the international community, Russian forces supposedly defending Armenia - even though a conflict would probably be centered on the internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory of Karabakh - would be seen as much more legitimate than an intervention in Georgia.
Russia's revealing its bias on the Karabakh conflict also draws into serious question its role as a co-chair of the so-called Minsk Group, the OSCE conflict negotiation mechanism also chaired by France and the United States.
Again, anyone that has watched the conflict closely for the past two decades knows well that Russia is not just a mediator but also a party to the conflict. But, until now, all participants have at least acted on the pretense that Russia is somehow objective.