The Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Impact of COVID-19 on International Diplomacy

First Published at LSE International History Blog on 11 November 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic currently preoccupies global politics, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) has ended on 10 November with a Russian-brokered peace deal after six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. During this time, the Russian-brokered ceasefire was declared three separate times on 10, 18 and 26 October, but was the shortest-lived one since 1994. After clashes intensified on 27 September, Armenia and Azerbaijan continue trading accusations of each other attacking first. Violence has escalated that has internally displaced tens of thousands of people, destroyed thousands of buildings, and has taken hundreds of lives, including soldiers, since July 2020. This time is different, and clashes are more severe than the past that the human cost of the conflict is the highest of the last three decades. Armenia and Azerbaijan blame each other for breaking an agreement not to target civilians and residential areas with missile strikes, hence, violating a humanitarian ceasefire.

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