Trouble in Karabakh

by Marc W on 3/5/2008 · 4 comments

Wow, I sure picked an exciting time to join Registan! My plan for today was to write a nice little follow-up post to yesterday’s long one, but the headline on RFE-RL caught my eye: Armenia/Azerbaijan: Deadly Fighting Erupts In Nagorno-Karabakh .

According to RFE-RL, “skirmishes broke out in two separate districts of northwest Karabakh, with gunfire and shelling reported in three villages in the Terter and Goranboy regions.” Casualties were reported on both sides.

Not surprisingly, the Armenian government blamed Azerbaijan for trying to take advantage of their domestic instability due to the election controversy. Azerbaijan turned around accused Armenia of starting the confrontation to distract from their domestic situation. Presumably the truth lies somewhere in between.

This Reuters article: Azerbaijan may use force in Karabakh after Kosovo makes an interesting connection to Karabakh and Kosovo. Basically, the writer says that the Azerbaijani government – which considers Kosovo’s seccession from Serbia to be “illegal” – is concerned that Kosovo will set a dangerous (for them) precedent and pave the way for Nagorno-Karabakh to try and unilaterally declare independence. Flush with oil wealth, they may be moving in now to try and change the situation on the ground.

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ari March 5, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Karabakh has declared independence already. It’s just not accepted.

Marc W March 6, 2008 at 9:56 am


You’re quite right, my mistake. To be precise, there was a referendum in 1991 (boycotted by ethnic Azerbaijanis) in which the residents of Karabach declared it to be an independent republic. As far as I know, no country (except Armenia, perhaps?) acknowledges this independence. Still, the point still stands about the Kosovo precedent being a potential cause of alarm to Azerbaijan.

Thanks for the correction! I told you all I was new to this!

anon March 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Armenia also does not recognize NKR.

Marc W March 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm

That’s one mystery solved. Thanks, mystery poster!

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