The Changing Landscape of Nagorno-Karabakh: Reintegration, Relocation, and Diplomacy

In the wake of political tensions and territorial disputes, Nagorno-Karabakh stands at a pivotal juncture of its history.

by Faruk Imamovic
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The Changing Landscape of Nagorno-Karabakh: Reintegration, Relocation, and Diplomacy
© Getty Images News/Astrig Agopian

In the wake of political tensions and territorial disputes, Nagorno-Karabakh stands at a pivotal juncture of its history. With the recent announcement of the unrecognized republic's dissolution and the ongoing reintegration proposals, the fate of its ethnic Armenian inhabitants hangs in the balance.

Transport and Logistics: A Shared Vision

As the geopolitical landscape shifts, one shared vision stands out – the development of transport communications and logistics in the region. This emphasis, as highlighted by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, is not solely for the benefit of Russia.

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan, neighbors with a shared yet tumultuous history, recognize the significance of this endeavor. “There are plans to develop transport communications and logistics in the region. This is extremely important for Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia.

We hope that this work will continue," Peskov stated. The intertwined nature of their economies and the potential benefits of enhanced transport routes make this a top priority for all parties involved. The development could lead to improved trade, increased investments, and overall regional prosperity, provided peace and diplomacy prevail.

A Republic Dissolves: The Fate of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh

With the dissolution of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic set for January 1, 2024, as decreed by NKR President Samvel Shahramanyan, its Armenian inhabitants face uncertain futures.

The recommendations from Baku ask the local ethnic Armenian population to weigh the merits of the reintegration proposals, leading them to decide whether to stay or to move, with Armenia being a probable destination for many.

However, the transition isn't smooth sailing. The Azerbaijan government has begun registering ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh to determine their legal status. Alarmingly, in a short span, over 84,000 residents from this disputed region, which has a population nearing 120,000, have relocated to Armenia.

Earlier in September, the area once again became a hotspot of contention. Baku's initiation of what it termed "local anti-terrorist measures" clashed with Yerevan's insistence that no Armenian troops were present in Karabakh.

Amidst the sharp exchanges and accusations, Russia played a vital role, urging all parties to resort to diplomacy, avoid civilian harm, and halt the bloodshed. The cease hostilities agreement on September 20 and the subsequent discussions on reintegration the next day in Yevlakh exemplify the fragile yet hopeful road to peace.

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