This week’s armed attack on a police station in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, has raised questions about whether the use of violence is now seen in the South Caucasus country as an acceptable way to push for reform.
More than two months after a fresh round of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan are again pledging to pursue a peaceful resolution to the decades-long conflict. At the same time, they are looking for change.
When Armenia joined the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union in 2015, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan justified the decision in part by asserting that membership would enhance Armenia’s national security. But, as the early April flare-up in fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory showed, such security benefits are more theoretical than real.
The exact relationship between Yerevan and the Armenia-backed separatist military force in Azerbaijan's breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is murky.
Independent researchers say it is very difficult to obtain analytically solid details about the exact size of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh Army or the source of some of the separatist fighters' weaponry.
In Ukraine, Russia is widely seen as a troublemaker intent on destabilizing the government in Kyiv. But when it comes to Nagorno-Karabakh, the longest current conflict in the Caucasus, the Kremlin is expected to act as a force for restraint.
Highlighting the challenge of forging a lasting political settlement to the 26-year-long conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, officials and experts in the two countries are offering starkly different views on the heavy fighting that erupted around the territory in late July and early August.
A ceasefire 18 years ago this month brought a halt to the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. But with the battle over the disputed territory’s fate dragging on, residents must contend with a persistent enemy in their midst – uncertainty.