Armenian foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijan’s Jeyhun Bayramov have attended peace negotiations in Geneva. As a result, it seems a peace treaty is being drafted.
Armenia’s priority is apparently to guarantee the rights of those Armenians living in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Unlike prior peace processes involving the two countries, this has been largely mediated by the U.S. and the EU, with Russia playing less of a role. This is partly a consequence of the fact that Russian peacekeepers (who have been stationed in the region since 2020) failed to deter the recent resumption of violence.
For its part, however, Western powers have helped embolden Azerbaijan. According to Foreign Policy, “Between fiscal year 2018 and 2019, the United States allocated over more than $100 million in military aid to Azerbaijan.” Biden has continued on this path, and “European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen even went so far as to describe Azerbaijan as a ‘trustworthy’ partner” despite this country’s repeated violation of Armenian human rights.
Indeed, the latest clashes began with Azeri attacks, including on territories that are incontestably Armenian, such as Martuni.
This represents a renewal of a conflict that flared up in 2020, and, prior to this, in the 1990s. In the 90s, the eruption of war was a consequence of the collapse of the USSR, in the wake of which Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh attempted to separate from Azerbaijan.
In 2020, a six-week long period of belligerence resulted in the deaths of over 6,500 combatants, after which the Russian-mediated peace included the ceding of a great deal of territory by Armenia to Azerbaijan.