Sunday, December 17, 2023

Yerevan Seeking to Resettle Refugees from Karabakh in Syunik/Zengezur Corridor, Creating Conditions for New Conflict, Mikhailov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 11 – Yevgeny Mikhailov, a Russian specialist on international conflicts, says that Yerevan is seeking to resettle Armenians who have fled from Karabakh following the restoration of Azerbaijani control there into Armenia’s Syunik Oblast, the region between Azerbaijan proper and Nakhichivan that many refer to as the Zengezur corridor.

            After the end of the 44-day war in 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to the reopening of transportation routes across the region, including through Zengezur. But Armenia has dragged its feet on that, seeing its control of Syunik as one of its chief political resources in its talks with Baku.

            Mikhailov’s report suggests that Yerevan is trying to strengthen its position in the oblast; but the introduction of Armenians there with particular hatred for Azerbaijanis creates a situation in which the new local population may become an additional obstacle to opening a transit route through that region (

            Indeed, the potential for clashes between these resettled Armenian refugees and the movement of people and goods between the two non-contiguous parts of Azerbaijan could lead Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey to conclude that the only way forward for them is by the use of military force.

            That is not a given, but the more Armenians from Karabakh who are introduced into Syunik, the more likely it becomes.

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