The month of April in South-Caucasus in a nutshell…

South Caucasus geopolitical watch team: Morgan CailletConstant Henrio, Léonard Monce and Mariam Nebieridze

The files we follow: Karabakh Conflict Resolution Process, Humanitarian and Security Update in Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor, Abkhazia and South Ossetia / Georgia Conflict, Georgia – EU/ US/Russia/Ukraine Relations and Georgian Domestic Policy, South Caucasian energy, trade and transport issues, Human Rights in South Caucasus, Various Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian foreign policies.

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The month of April was marked in Karabakh by the continued stagnation of the peace process, with each protagonist sticking to their positions. Azerbaijan said through its president on 18 April that “Armenians living in Karabakh should either accept Azerbaijani citizenship or find another place to live.” Armenia continued to denounce an ongoing genocide and a policy of planned ethnic cleansing while speaking rather confusedly in terms of international law, such as that of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on 18 April in Parliament, acknowledging the territorial integrity of its neighbour, but at the same time criticizing a so-called maximalist policy of the latter. It should be noted that on 17 April a new head of the state service for mobilization and conscription was appointed in Azerbaijan, and at the beginning of the month numerous military exercises were held when Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, met the chief technology officer of the Turkish company Baykar. The Russian side explained the situation at the end of the month by the lack of progress in negotiations under its aegis due to opportunistic interventionism by the West, while saying it was “gravely concerned”. The visits of the French Foreign Minister to the region at the end of the month, who called for the restoration of free movement in the Lachin corridor, did not change the now consummated Franco-Azerbaijani rivalry, proof of which are the terms exact words of his counterpart: “the position displayed by France during the post-conflict period did not contribute to the peace process“.

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