Armenia's PM fears war against Azerbaijan 'eventually…

Peace talks between the two neighbors are stalling. The exact route of the nearly 1,000 km long border is disputed. Azerbaijan is also demanding the return of four villages and several smaller areas.

Six months after the Armenian enclave lost control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region to Azerbaijan, Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is warning of a new war with its neighbour. Russian state news agency Dass quoted him on Tuesday as saying that if Armenia does not agree to return four Azerbaijani villages it has controlled since the early 1990s, war will break out “by the end of the week”.

“I know how a war like that ends,” he added. According to the report, Pashinyan spoke to border residents in villages that have been uninhabited for more than 30 years. Armenia suffered a bitter defeat last September when Azerbaijani troops captured the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the second phase of a lightning offensive since 2020. 100,000 ethnic Armenians in the area later fled to Armenia.

The two neighbors later expressed their willingness to sign an official peace treaty to resolve the decades-long conflict. However, the talks stalled due to disagreements over the demarcation of the 1,000-km-long shared border. Azerbaijan is also demanding the return of four villages and several smaller areas.

Strategically suitable villages

For Armenia, the villages are strategically relevant as they are located on an important link road between the capital Yerevan and the Georgian border. However, in recent weeks, Pashinian has signaled a desire to return Azerbaijani land still controlled by Armenia and has suggested adapting Armenia's road network to pass through Azerbaijani territory.

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Azerbaijan's autocratic President Ilham Aliyev said Sunday that a peace deal with Armenia is “closer than ever.” He made these comments after talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Azerbaijan capital, Baku. On Tuesday, Stoltenberg met with Pashinyan in Armenia. For a long time, the country was associated with Russia in a dependent relationship in the military and energy sectors. But the relationship breaks down. Yerevan accuses Moscow of failing to fulfill its role as a protecting power and shifting its foreign policy toward the West. (APA/Reuters)

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