By Emil A.Souleimanov and Huseyn Aliyev

June 10, 2021, the CACI Analyst

Starting in mid-May, a wave of confrontations between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have taken place in disputed border areas after large-scale fighting between the two states ended in November last year. While both sides trade accusations of violating each others’ international borders, there may be logical reasons for the recent spike in Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontations and their timing. Armenia’s upcoming parliamentary elections, unresolved issues of prisoners of war, the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the question of the “Zangezur/Syunik corridor” have all possibly contributed to the recent events.

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By Natalia Konarzewska

June 7, 2021, the CACI Analyst

Baku is preparing to open a transit corridor that will link Azerbaijani territory with its Nakhichevan exclave through southern Armenia. President Ilham Aliyev recently announced the construction of a railway that will link Azerbaijan proper with Nakhichevan and ramped up the rhetoric against Armenia, which remains reluctant towards the project. Most of the Armenian public and experts consider the transit corridor to be a geopolitical threat rather than a new opportunity for enhanced connectivity. This standoff recently turned into full-fledged security crisis as Azerbaijan’s army advanced into the territory of southern Armenia in mid-May.

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By Robert M. Cutler

May 11, 2021, the CACI Analyst

The implementation of the trilateral agreement brokered by Russia on the night of November 9-10, 2020, between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues in fits and starts. Most near-term questions have been resolved. How intermediate-term issues turn out depend upon the results of the snap parliamentary elections called in June by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. As for the longer-term outcome, this is more difficult to estimate, and it is path-dependent upon those elections. In this regard, events on the ground—but not only the elections—are still in control, even if these are no longer military events.

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By Jack Watling

March 25, 2021, the CACI Analyst

The six-week Nagorno-Karabakh war, fought through the Autumn of 2020, may have been principally of local significance politically, but highlights changes in the viability of the use of force as an instrument of statecraft in a new era of great power competition. Extrapolation from the conflict should not be taken too far, but the democratization of precision strike and the constraints imposed on the use of air power pose serious questions for many European medium powers. 

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By Orhan Gafarli

January 28, 2021, the CACI Analyst

The Second Karabakh War lasted for 44 days, ending on November 10, 2020 with the 9-point ceasefire agreement agreed by Azerbaijan and Armenia under Russian mediation. According to the ceasefire, the Armenian side will withdraw from the seven regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh; a Russian Peace Force will control the Lachin corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia and Russia’s Border Service (FSB) will supervise the highway between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan. Turkey is also a party to ensuring compliance with the ceasefire, setting up observation points and cooperating with Russia regarding negotiations between the parties. The end of the war might eventually bring the parties to a peace agreement and allow for regular overland transport between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. This perspective could help revive the Silk Road between East and West in the South Caucasus.

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Staff Publications

Op-ed S. Frederick Starr & Michael Doran, To Avert Disaster in Afghanistan, Look to Central Asia, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2021.

Op-ed S. Frederick Starr & Eldor Aripov, Can Afghanistan Be Part of An Integrated Central Asia? The National Interest, July 9, 2021.

Op-ed Mamuka Tsereteli and James Jay Carafano, Tsereteli & Carafano: Putin threatens Ukraine – here's the danger and what US, allies should do about it, Fox News, April 13, 2021.

Op-ed S. Enders Wimbish, US withdrawal from Afghanistan spells dangerous geopolitical realignments, The Hill, April 2, 2021.  

Silk Road Paper Svante E. Cornell and S. Frederick Starr, Kazakhstan's Role in International Mediation under First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, November 2020.

Analysis Svante E. Cornell, How Did Armenia So Badly Miscalculate Its War with Azerbaijan? The National Interest, November 14, 2020.

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell, Halting the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan: Russian Peacekeeping is not the Solution Washington Times, October 20, 2020.

Analysis Svante E. Cornell, Can America Stop a Wider War between Armenia and Azerbaijan? The National Interest, October 5, 2020.

Article S. Frederick Starr, America Inches Toward a Serious Central Asia Strategy AFPC Defense Dossier, June 3, 2020.

Silk Road Paper Farrukh Irnazarov and Roman Vakulchuk, Discovering Opportunities in the Pandemic? Four Economic Response Scenarios for Central Asia, July 2020.  

 Book S. Frederick Starr, Eldar Ismailov, Nazim Muzaffarli, Basic Principles for the Rehabilitation of Azerbaijan’s Post-Conflict Territories, 2010.

Can Afghanistan Be Part of An Integrated Central Asia?

The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.

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