The State of Play in Nagorno Karabakh & the Scope for Second-Track Diplomatic Initiatives 

By Ilya Roubanis, PhD

The main diplomatic effect of the 2020 Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict is the compartmentalisation of the diplomatic agenda: the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh question is no longer a precondition to the “normalisation” of the Azerbaijani-Armenian relationship. Focusing exclusively on Nagorno-Karabakh, the Ukrainian war undermines the viability of the Minsk process because Russia cannot cooperate with the West to resolve a conflict while being involved in a proxy standoff with its diplomatic counterparts. In this context, Armenia’s singular economic, diplomatic, and strategic dependence on Russia reduces its ability to set the negotiating agenda and avoid a binding arbitration that can lead to significant concessions. Since the Russian-mediated ceasefire agreement of November 2020, Yerevan is no longer the guarantor of Karabakh’s security; Russia is. However, a triumphant stance by Azerbaijan may be self-defeating. By undermining the credibility of its diplomatic counterpart, Baku loses the ability to build a credible and lasting peace settlement.

lya Roubanis (PhD, European University Institute) is a British European Areas Studies analyst of Greek heritage. He is a fellow of the the International Relations Institute in Athens (IDIS). For over a decade, he has worked in the South Caucasus as a government affairs consultant, risk analyst, and journalist.

To quote this article, please use the following reference: I. Roubanis (2022), “The State of Play in Nagorno Karabakh & the Scope for Second-Track Diplomatic Initiatives”–the-scope-for-second-track-diplomatic-initiatives/

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