Saturday, July 30, 2022

Agreement Between Yerevan and Ankara to Re-Open Border Appears Behind Baku Decision to Close Nakhichevan-Turkish Frontier

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 6 – Armenia and Turkey have agreed to a partial reopening of the border between them that has been closed for three decades. At the same time, Azerbaijan has announced that it is closing the 13-kilometer border between Nakhichevan and Turkey. Baku says it is doing so to control the pandemic, but the timing suggests otherwise.

            Observers in Baku say that while Azerbaijan has said it welcomes an improvement in relations between Turkey and Armenia, the coincidence in timing is such that it appears almost certain that its closure of the border with Turkey is an expression of its unhappiness about this accord (армения-собирается-открыть-границу-с-турцией-a-азербайджан-закрывает-свою).

            Had this closure been about the coronavirus, it would have occurred earlier, they say. But the real test is ahead. Will Ankara and Yerevan in fact move to reopen the border as they have said they will? And will Baku reopen the border between Nakhichevan and Turkey or will it keep it closed for longer than any epidemiological condition requires?

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