Fear of new war between Armenia, Azerbaijan looms: Report
Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalate with fears of imminent war in Nagorno-Karabakh, as cross-border skirmishes continue three years after the 2020 conflict.
A recent report by AFP shows tensions have been mounting between Armenia and Azerbaijan as locals in Nagorno-Karabkh live in a constant state of fear that a war might be imminent.
Three years since the end of the 2020 war, the situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains volatile: as discreet cross-border skirmishes persisted all throughout the summer.
"People are simply afraid that they will wake up tomorrow to the sound of bombings, just as in 2020. We don't know how to live in such a situation, how to raise children, when we live under constant stress, and nobody wants to help us," Olga Grigoryan told AFP.
In May, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declared that Armenia recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory. However, the situation has since taken a troubling turn, with accusations flying from both sides.
Baku has accused Pashinyan of acting contrary to his earlier statement, alleging that Yerevan continues to provide financial support to ethnic-Armenian separatist forces from its state budget.
"Some recent actions of the Armenian leadership have caused serious damage to the peace process," Hikmet Hajiyev, a prominent foreign policy advisor to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, citing Pashinyan's congratulatory letter to Nagorno-Karabakh on its Independence Day, celebrated on September 2, which sparked anger in Baku.
Hajiyev further criticized the holding of presidential elections in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 9, labeling it a "serious provocation" and accusing Yerevan of obstructing attempts at dialogue between the central government in Baku and separatists in Stepanakert.
In response, Yerevan has accused Baku of exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh by blocking the sole road that links the region with Armenia, known as the Lachin corridor.
The failure to make substantial progress in peace talks has raised concerns among analysts, who warn that tensions are mounting and the possibility of a renewed conflict looms large. Independent Armenian analyst Beniamin Matevosyan cautioned that the "probability of a new armed conflict is undoubtedly very high, as Azerbaijan is intensively concentrating troops at the border with Armenia and near Karabakh while increasing its units' cohesion there."
Similarly, Azerbaijani political expert Farhad Mammadov said, "The risk of a renewed large-scale fighting will always remain high as long as the peace treaty is not signed." He went on to suggest that Baku might consider an attack on Armenian territory if Yerevan intervened militarily in Karabakh.
Armenian analyst Hakob Balayan expressed grave concerns, warning that an Azerbaijani attack on Armenia would lead to a big regional war that might involve third parties like Iran and Turkey.