International Community Should Pressure Baku to Stop Genocidal Threats Against Armenia, Artsakh

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention issued a statement calling on the international community to apply strong pressure on Baku to stop its genocidal threats against Armenia and Artsakh.

The group also voiced concern regarding what it called the international negotiators’ “blind spots” as they mediate the Armenia-Azerbaijan talks, sounding the alarm that by ignoring the right to self-determination of Artsakh, they are essentially “giving the fox the entire henhouse in reward for his predatory behavior.”

Below is the text of the statement issued on May 30.

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention registers its deep concern over the glaring blind spots of international negotiators involved in the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations. We implore international actors, particularly US President Biden, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to recognize the threat of genocide faced by Armenians in the South Caucasus. We further implore them to fully consider the implications of ignoring existing early warning systems and genocide prevention protocols by rewarding Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for his threats against Armenia. Rewarding a dictator who has publicly threatened genocide will have long-term catastrophic implications not only for Armenians, but also for international peace and security.

This spring we have seen an internationally-brokered intensification of efforts to finalize a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The details of these negotiations have been unclear, though they do clearly include enormous concessions by Armenia to Azerbaijan – such as giving up the historically Armenian territory of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) – with little offered to Armenia in exchange, other than paper guarantees of Armenia’s already-existing legal rights: Azerbaijan’s respect for Armenia’s sovereignty, the return of Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) from the 2020 conflict who are still illegally being held by Azerbaijan, and the sharing of information about the whereabouts of the disappeared. The Lemkin Institute is concerned that the major powers are cynically using threats to Armenia’s continued existence as a stick to force it to agree to very lopsided agreements. We fear that Armenia is being told that either it signs this agreement or it will face Azeri and Turkish aggression alone. The apparent international assumption that Azeri and Turkish threats will end once Armenia gives up all claims to Artsakh are baffling. Just last week President Aliyev demanded that the Armenians of Artsakh give up their representative institutions and that the leaders of Artsakh “turn themselves in” to the Azerbaijani authorities, warning them that “ [e]veryone knows that we have the necessary capabilities to launch any type of operation in this region.”

Of particular concern to the Lemkin Institute is the very real threat of genocide that is going unaddressed: Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly threatened the sovereign Republic of Armenia (even suggesting that its capital, Yerevan, is historic Azeri land) and pushing — with its ally Türkiye — for an illegal so-called “Zangezur Corridor” through Armenia’s Syunik province, which would effectively constitute an occupation of Armenian land and would cut Armenia off from direct land access to its important southern trade partner, Iran. Because of these threats — which have been coupled with the Baku regime’s endorsement of horrific and genocidal atrocities against Armenian soldiers, POWs, and civilians during the 2016 and 2020 wars — there is no reason to believe that Azerbaijan will abide by any treaty or that its expansionist ambitions will stop with Artsakh. Azerbaijan’s disrespect for international norms is blatant and consistent, as shown by its repeated breach of the 2020 Tripartite Ceasefire Agreement that ended the 2020 war.

It is imperative that the great powers negotiating this peace view their work within the context of an on-going genocidal threat to Armenian life that has existed in the region since the 19th century and particularly since the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. Due to Türkiye’s active and well-funded denial of the genocide, as well as its powerful geostrategic position and the coordinated pressure that it has placed on governments, research institutions, the United Nations, NATO and NGOs, this genocidal threat has never been accounted for and the transitional justice mechanisms that could transform the current genocidal power dynamics in the region have not been implemented. Given that Türkiye actively supports Azerbaijan militarily, diplomatically, politically, and economically, and that Azerbaijan has pursued similar techniques of denial, including notorious bribery schemes as part of its “caviar diplomacy,” these peace negotiations are setting the stage for disaster.

Nevertheless, the very real existential threats being faced by Armenians are being completely ignored by peace negotiators and the press. Charles Michel, President of the European Council who hosted talks between Aliyev and Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan on May 14, affirmed afterwards that the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh will be recognized as part of Azerbaijan. He further “encouraged Azerbaijan to engage in developing a positive agenda with the aim of guaranteeing the rights and security of this population, in close cooperation with the international community” and added that he views a “need for a transparent and constructive dialogue between Baku and this population [Armenians in Artsakh].” The Lemkin Institute wonders how it is possible for the elected government of Artsakh, much less the 120,000 people who have been illegally blockaded in the territory for over five months by the Baku regime, to negotiate with a man and a government who have made anti-Armenianism and genocidal hate speech a core policy of their dictatorship.

We remind these powerful actors that their support for Baku’s claims to historic Armenian land can amount to complicity in genocide, as they are effectively acting as accomplices to the current regime in Baku, which has overseen genocidal atrocities against Armenian POWs and civilians, routinely flouts the 2020 ceasefire agreement that ended the 44-day war, still holds hostage Armenian POWs in violation of international law, has illegally blockaded the population of Artsakh for five months now, and regularly launches incursions into the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Ignoring the genocidal threats from the Aliyev regime, and its ally Türkiye, is a dangerous move and a betrayal of humanity. It will most likely set the stage for a second Armenian Genocide and spell the end of post-1945 genocide prevention efforts, which the United States in particular has made an important part of its foreign policy. Geostretegic interests must be understood within a genocide prevention framework if the world is ever to have a chance for peace and security.

The Lemkin Institute believes that, given the circumstances, the self-determination of the people of Artsakh is a form of genocide prevention in addition to a right recognized by the Charter of the United Nations and several human rights treaties and declarations, which has become part of international jus cogens. Self-determination is further a recognized right of all peoples under oppressive colonial regimes. International law implies the responsibility of third party states to promote the realization of and respect for this right. Beyond this, the people of Artsakh have a strong case for self-determination. The land and the people of Artsakh – an historic Armenian territory granted to Azerbaijan by the Soviet Union – has never before been under the governance of the state of Azerbaijan. Under the Soviets it had the status of an autonomous oblast; in the 1980s it sought separation from Azerbaijan according to the constitution of the Soviet Union; and in the 1990s it fought a painful war for its independence after an Azerbaijani invasion. From 1994 to 2020 Artsakh was governed as a semi-independent and democratic nation within a buffer zone of formerly Azerbaijani territory occupied by Artsakh Armenian forces. After the 44-day war in 2020, Azerbaijani forces gained control of the territories in this buffer zone as well as parts of Artsakh itself. Since December 12, 2022 Azerbaijan has been illegally blockading the people of Artsakh, who are over 99 percent Armenian.

The international community, rather than exploiting Armenia’s weakness (itself a long-term consequence of the 1915-1923 genocide), should be placing strong pressure on the Baku regime to cease its genocidal threats to Armenia and Armenians. Such pressure must include a recognition that placing Artsakh Armenians under the control of genocidal dictator Ilham Aliyev is akin to giving the fox the entire henhouse in reward for his predatory behavior. Instead of offering Aliyev a green light for genocide, international actors should be issuing targeted sanctions and using other mechanisms to contain Azerbaijan’s aggression and guarantee Armenians security in the region. Self-determination for Artsakh should be adjudicated immediately through proper international mechanisms. In the long run an independent investigatory commission into Armenian and Azeri grievances and a transitional justice process will be necessary to craft an enduring peace in the South Caucasus. But the immediate priority must be the prevention of genocide against Armenians.

PM Pashinyan meets with Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister



YEREVAN, MAY 31, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has met with Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén in Yerevan.

PM Pashinyan welcomed Semjén’s visit to Armenia and was pleased to note the restoration of diplomatic relations after a long suspension.

According to a readout issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Nikol Pashinyan expressed hope that Armenia and Hungary will be able to swiftly catch up what has been missed.

Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén thanked for the warm reception and conveyed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s greetings. Semjén also attached importance to the restoration of bilateral diplomatic relations and emphasized the Hungarian government’s eagerness to develop and enhance partnership with Armenia. In this regard, he emphasized the role of the Armenian community of Hungary. 

PM Pashinyan thanked the Hungarian government for the preservation and caring attitude for the Armenian cultural heritage in Hungary.

PM Pashinyan and the Hungarian Deputy PM underscored the need to promote cooperation in the economic, tourism, culture and education sectors. Steps in direction of restoring direct flights between Yerevan and Budapest were highlighted. Deputy PM Zsolt Semjén said that the government of Hungary has initiated a scholarship program for Armenian students.

Various issues of regional and international importance were also discussed.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan presented the situation in Nagorno Karabakh resulting from the illegal blockade of Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan and stressed that the Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh are now going through a humanitarian crisis. PM Pashinyan said that Azerbaijan has cut off gas and power supply from Armenia to Nagorno Karabakh, while food is supplied only through the peacekeepers. Pashinyan said that Azerbaijan’s actions are aimed at committing ethnic cleansing and genocide in Nagorno Karabakh. The Armenian Prime Minister attached importance to an adequate reaction by the international community.

Hungary’s Ambassador to Armenia Anna Mária Sikó (stationed in Georgia) presented her credentials to Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan on May 15.

PM Pashinyan, PACE’s Paul Gavan discuss Lachin Corridor



YEREVAN, MAY 31, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has met with Paul Gavan, the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Gavan is visiting Armenia as part of preparing a report on ensuring safe passage along Lachin Corridor.

Issues related to the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh resulting from the illegal blockade of Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan were discussed, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a readout.

The Armenian Prime Minister stated that Azerbaijan has cut off gas and electricity supply from Armenia to Nagorno Karabakh and food supplies are carried out only through peacekeepers. PM Pashinyan said that Azerbaijan seeks to commit ethnic cleansing and genocide in Nagorno Karabakh and called for an appropriate reaction by the international community.

International community acknowledges Armenia’s democratic achievements and government’s commitment – Pashinyan


YEREVAN, MAY 29, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has presented details on the meetings he had during the 4th Council of Europe Summit.

“I can say the following, the international community acknowledges Armenia’s democratic achievements and underscores conviction towards the Armenian government’s commitment and democratic reforms. This is highly important, highly important in the logic of our foreign policy and international relations,” Pashinyan told lawmakers at a joint committee session for preliminary debates of the 2022 government budget report.

He added that transforming this factor into a higher level of welfare and security of Armenian citizens, and into a tool for ensuring security, prosperity and happiness in Armenia is a practical objective.

ANC-AU Welcomes Promotions of Armenian-Australian Supporters in New South Wales Parliament

SYDNEY: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) has welcomed the appointment of several parliamentary friends, who have been promoted to new positions in both the Government and Opposition following the New South Wales State Elections.

The ANC-AU has written to the following members of the NSW Parliament to congratulate their appointments by their respective parties, including:

  • Stephen Kamper, Member for Rockdale, who was appointed as the Minister for Small Business, Lands and Property, Multiculturalism and Sport;

  • Hugh McDermott, Member for Prospect, who was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General of New South Wales;

  • Mark Speakman, Member for Cronulla, who was elected as Leader of the Opposition;

  • Natalie Ward, Member for the Legislative Council, who was elected as Deputy Leader of the Opposition;

  • Damien Tudehope, Member for the Legislative Council, who was appointed as Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations;

  • Mark Coure, Member for Oatley, who was appointed as Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Jobs, Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology and for South-Western Sydney;

  • Tim James, Member for Willoughby, who was appointed as Shadow Minister for Fair Trading, Work Health and Safety and Building;

  • Jordan Lane, newly elected Member for Ryde, who was appointed as Shadow Assistant Minister for Health and Multiculturalism;

  • James Griffin, Member for Manly, who was appointed Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, and Shadow Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government.

From this list, Kamper, McDermott, Ward, Tudehope, Coure, James, Lane and Griffin are also members of the Australian Friends of Artsakh network, supporting the rights to self-determination of the people of Artsakh and are advocates for Federal Australian recognition of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

ANC-AU Executive Director Michael Kolokossian said: “The Armenian National Committee of Australia congratulates some our closest friends on their well-deserved promotions in the Government and Opposition.”

“We look forward to continuing our work with all our friends in the NSW Parliament and their colleagues who continue to promote issues of concern to Armenian-Australians,” added Kolokossian.

Following the finalisation of the NSW Election results, the ANC-AU also congratulated Premier-elect the Hon. Chris Minns on his party’s success at the polls (read more here).

Armenia hopes talks with Azerbaijan will swiftly lead to peace treaty




YEREVAN, MAY 22, ARMENPRESS. Armenia hopes to swiftly reach an agreement with Azerbaijan and sign a treaty on establishing peace and relations, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a press conference on May 22.

“The military-political situation in our republic remains tense. The Government of Armenia finds advancing of the peace agenda to be the primary method of overcoming this tension. Intensive negotiations are underway with Azerbaijan around the treaty on establishing peace and relations, and we hope to reach an agreement on the text as soon as possible and sign it,” Pashinyan said.

PM Pashinyan added that the perception by the international community is getting inclined more and more towards the formula that Armenia and Azerbaijan should recognize each other’s territorial integrity without reservations – 29,800 square kilometers and 86,600 square kilometers respectively – and dialogue should take place between Stepanakert and Baku around ensuring the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenia agrees to this logic and is engaged in the talks with this logic, emphasizing that international mechanisms for guaranteeing dialogue between Stepanakert and Baku are extremely important.

“At the same time, I am convinced that peace is the strategic guarantee for ensuring Armenia’s security, which is possible through normalizing relations with all neighbors. This isn’t an easy process at all, but I believe it is what our people want and expect,” Pashinyan added.

Central Bank of Armenia: exchange rates and prices of precious metals – 10-05-23



 17:41, 10 May 2023

YEREVAN, 10 MAY, ARMENPRESS. The Central Bank of Armenia informs “Armenpress” that today, 10 May, USD exchange rate down by 0.04 drams to 386.40 drams. EUR exchange rate down by 3.76 drams to 423.22 drams. Russian Ruble exchange rate up by 0.10 drams to 5.08 drams. GBP exchange rate down by 2.18 drams to 487.21 drams.

The Central Bank has set the following prices for precious metals.

Gold price up by 360.80 drams to 25221.27 drams. Silver price down by 3.44 drams to 317.60 drams.

Asbarez: From Ecstasy to Agony: How Armenia’s 2018 Revolution Led to the 2020 Karabakh War

The Lachin Corridor has been blockaded by Azerbaijan since Dec. 12, 2022


In 1789, the ancien regime in France was toppled by mobs driven by the aspiration of establishing a more just and egalitarian society. The French Revolution promised universal liberty and equality, abolished royal titles and sought to radically transform society. But the fledgling republic soon found itself in an existential struggle against an alliance of Europe’s monarchies. These entrenched monarchies, fearful of the rapid spread of revolutionary ideology and apprehensive of similar uprisings among their own citizens, launched aggressive wars in a bid to suppress the ideas of the revolution.

Similar events can be observed in Russia in 1917. When a Bolshevik coup toppled the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty, Russia’s former allies landed troops to aid the White Russians loyal to the Tsar and stop the communist revolution. They were partially driven by fear of more “red revolutions” sweeping across the continent. This historic phenomenon can be observed time and time again. Revolutionary states are inherently destabilizing, and increase security concerns with rival states. The shake up of the status quo and balance of power leads to a higher propensity of open hostility with neighbors[1].

Indeed it is no coincidence that after Armenia experienced its own democratic revolution in 2018, Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s longtime autocratic ruler, launched a war of aggression in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Meanwhile, Russia, led by its own entrenched elites and Armenia’s nominal ally sat on the sidelines and watched Armenia’s revolution flounder. Like the regimes in Europe in 1789 and 1917, these autocratic states had a vested interest in seeing the ideas of a revolution fail.

There is some debate about whether the 2018 protest movement constitutes a revolution. While some argue it was a “coup from the streets,” or a simple change of power, the technical criteria does not change the fact that Armenia’s new leaders were perceived by Azerbaijan’s and Russia’s ruling elites as destabilizing revolutionaries and a threat to their own governments.

Both these regimes feared that the revolution directly challenged their forms of government. Vladimir Putin sees burgeoning democracies in Russia’s sphere of influence as a threat to his regime. Europe is replete with examples of Putin funding anti-democratic forces. Notably, after Georgia’s Rose Revolution in 2003, Putin sought to undermine Mikheil Saakashvili’s government by invading Georgia in 2008. Similarly, Putin saw Ukraine’s Orange Revolution as a direct challenge to his power and Russian forces invaded Ukraine in 2014 and 2022 in an effort to install a Russia friendly government on its border[2]. While Putin did not intervene on behalf of Serzh Sargysan, Russia’s elites were suspicious of Nikol Pashinyan’s intentions and his rapprochement with the West[3].

 The revolution in Armenia also brought fears of democratic contagion to Azerbaijan’s ruling elite. Azerbaijan had similar concerns in 2011 when protests inspired by the Arab Spring erupted in Baku[4]. Hundreds were arrested amid a wider crackdown on civil society. With Georgia experiencing the Rose Revolution in 2003 and Armenia having its revolution in 2018, Azerbaijan’s elites feared they would be the last domino to fall in the Caucasus. Aliyev went as far as to ask Pashinyan directly from refraining from talking about the revolution in Armenia, out of fear of the revolution spreading to Azerbaijan[5].

The opposition in Azerbaijan frequently compared themselves to Armenia and were “jealous” of the outcome of the revolution, with a famous opposition journalist asking “Why is victory always on their side?”[6].  Aliyev feared that ordinary Azeris would want to emulate such an uprising to install a more democratic regime. Shortly after Sargsyan stepped down, Azerbaijan’s parliament took up a bill that would strengthen already-harsh penalties against illegal assemblies[7]. Aliyev feared that his own citizens would participate in uprisings and protests similar to those in 2011 and that would be fatal to his regime. From his perspective, it was essential that Pashinyan’s revolution be perceived as a failure.

Many revolutionary elites are poorly prepared for running a government[8].  They attempt to build a new regime by excluding experienced members of the existing government and replacing them with inexperienced members friendly with the revolution. They also take time to consolidate support amongst essential actors and fear a counterrevolution and the return of the old regime. In order to consolidate his revolution with average citizens, Pashinyan developed hawkish stances on Artsakh, publicly sparring with Aliyev on stage at the Munich Security Conference, and proclaiming, “Artsakh is Armenia” in Stepanakert. His public repudiation of the Madrid Principles, while popular at home, put further pressure on Aliyev to act. Pashinyan also chose a hawkish defense minister who proclaimed “new wars for new lands” as a direct threat to seize more territory from Azerbaijan[9]. These hawkish stances in effect took up one of the Sargysan administrations sources of legitimacy. Pashinyan essentially defanged the threat of counterrevolution in the name of protecting Artsakh by taking up the mantle of an Artsakh hawk. While this permanently damaged the negotiation process and increased chances of an armed conformation with Azerbaijan, it also helped Pashinyan consolidate support for his government by creating a “rally around the flag” effect.

Pashinyan also exaggerated the foreign threat to this revolution to further rally internal support. He took measures that further exacerbated the spiral of suspicion with Russia. He publicly challenged Russia by arresting the then head of the CSTO Yuri Khatchaturov and investigated Russian railroad companies. He also arrested Robert Kocharyan, a Putin ally, setting a dangerous example of a former head of state being arrested by a new regime, something unprecedented in the Russian sphere. Armenia also damaged relations by changing its United Nations votes to be a more critical of Russia[10]. Pashinyan also removed experienced members of the old regime from the bureaucracy, hurting the chances of Armenia and Russia understanding each other and seriously damaging relations. Experienced members of the old regime that stayed on such as President Armen Sargsyan had a strained relationship with Pashinyan.

Russia expressed its dissatisfaction with Pashinyan’s government multiple times. Putin did not visit Armenia until 2019 despite his frequent visits during the Sargysan administration,[11] and Putin made a point to wish his jailed ally Robert Kocharyan a happy birthday[12]. During the 2020 war, when Russia refused to provide the help Armenia needed, Pashinyan even offered to resign his government in exchange for more military aid, in essence acknowledging that his government’s rocky relationship with Russia may be the reason for the lack of support. 

Time was working both for and against the new Armenian government. Once power is consolidated, post-revolutionary states see a significant increase in defense capabilities[13]. They also tend to see a rapid rise in economic performance and an increase in prosperity for average citizens[14]. Aliyev knew that he had a short window to strike, before Pashinyan was able to consolidate his revolution and gain an advantage over Azerbaijan. Because of the disorder that followed the revolution internally in Armenia and with regard to relations with Russia, Azerbaijan decided that it was time to strike and strangle the revolution in the crib before it demonstrated success.

Armenian and Azeri soldiers engaged in a skirmish in July 2020[15]. Evidence suggests that Armenian troops took over abandoned Azeri positions and escalated the conflict by killing an Azeri general with a drone. As a response, a crowd of Azeris in Baku stormed the parliament building in protest, demanding that Aliyev take action against Armenia. This further heightened pressure on Aliyev to solve his Pashinyan problem. Aliyev who plays the role of a classic post-Soviet strongman also feared to be seen as the weaker party vis-a-vis Pashinyan.

Azerbaijan sought to delegitimize the Pashinyan government by launching a limited aims war that saw unexpected success. In September 2020, Azerbaijan attacked the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The early days of the war saw a stalemate on the frontlines but Azeri troops were soon able to exploit a breakthrough in the south. During the war, Aliyev sought to personally embarrass Pashinyan and his government, claiming that the Armenian government “overestimated its global role.” In addresses to his country, Aliyev personally challenged Pashinyan, proclaiming “Ne odlu Pashinyan?” (what happened Pashinyan?) and calling Pashinyan “a stupid drunken clown.” Commentators noted that the attacks were of a personal nature, something notably absent during the Sargysan years.

Some argue that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict had reached an inflection point. The decades long dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan was never resolved and some say war was inevitable. However, it is worth noting that the front was relatively quiet since the 1994 ceasefire with only smaller skirmishes taking place in April 2016 and full-blown war never breaking out. War erupted only 2 years into Pashinyan’s government. Perhaps due to inexperience, Pashinyan’s government badly miscalculated its own capabilities and the ability for Azerbaijan to gain territory[16].

The 2020 Karabakh War can be seen as a direct consequence of Armenia’s 2018 revolution. The revolution led to a change in government and a shift in Armenia’s political landscape, with the rise of inexperienced leaders to the helm. Azerbaijan’s autocratic ruler, Ilham Aliyev, and Russia’s entrenched elites were both wary of the democratic contagion that might spread to their own countries. They viewed Pashinyan’s government as a threat to their own forms of government, saw its weakness and isolation and sought to strangle it.

Gerard Khatchadourian is a political analyst in Washington, D.C.

[1] Walt, S. M. (n.d.). Revolution and War.

[2] Person, R., & McFaul, M. (2022, April). What Putin Fears Most. Journal of Democracy.

[3] Smith-Park, L. (2018, May 2). CNN.

[4] Klomegah, K. (2011, April 12). Arab Spring knocks at Azerbaijan’s door. Al-Jazeera.

[5] It was not me who turned to Aliyev, but he turned to me with a request. Pashinyan uncovers some details. First Channel News. (2020, September 28).

[6] Manukyan, S. (2018, May 8). Reactions to Pashinyan’s Premiership. The Armenian Weekly.

[7] Adilgizi, L. (2018, April 27). Azerbaijan watches Armenian rebellion with jealousy and hope. Eurasianet. Retrieved from

[8] Walt, S. M. (n.d.). Revolution and War.

[9] Cornell, S. (2020, November 14). How Did Armenia So Badly Miscalculate Its War with Azerbaijan? The National Interest.

[10] Mejlumyan, A. (2019a, June 5). In nod to Georgia, Armenia changes UN vote. Eurasianet.

[11] Mejlumyan, A. (2019, October 2). In Armenia, Eurasian Union meets Velvet Revolution. Eurasianet. Retrieved from

[12] Putin‌ ‌wishes‌ ‌friend,‌ ‌ex-president‌ ‌of‌ ‌Armenia‌ ‌Kocharyan‌ ‌happy‌ ‌birthday‌ . JAM News. (2020, January 9). Retrieved from

[13] Carter, J., Bernhard, M., & Palmer, G. (2012). Social Revolution, the State, and War: How Revolutions Affect War-Making Capacity and Interstate War Outcomes. The Journal of Conflict Resolution.

[14] Acemoglu, D. (2014, May 20). Does democracy boost economic growth? World Economic Forum. Retrieved from

[15] Stronski, P. (n.d.). Behind the Flare-Up Along Armenia-Azerbaijan Border. Carnigie Endowment for International Peace.

[16] Cornell, S. (2020, November 14). How Did Armenia So Badly Miscalculate Its War with Azerbaijan? The National Interest.

Qatar should help free Armenian prisoners of war

May 8 2023

In September 2020, Azerbaijan attacked the self-declared ethnic Armenian enclave in Nagorno-Karabakh. When the guns fell silent, Azerbaijan held several hundred Armenian POWs, only some of whom they released in accordance with Baku’s ceasefire obligations. Subsequently, some videos surfaced showing Azerbaijani forces summarily executing some POWs; other videos show torture.

Russia, the United States, and the European Parliament have all officially demanded Azerbaijan release the POWs.


Azerbaijan responds in two ways. First, it argues that many prisoners are not POWs, but rather are held for other crimes. Second, in many cases, it simply denies holding Armenians who have been seen alive in Azerbaijani custody.

Azerbaijan is not the first country to seize and illegally hold POWs long after a ceasefire or armistice.

North Korea continued to hold many American POWs after the armistice, transferring many into Communist-Chinese custody. The fate of American POWs in Vietnam was, for decades, an impediment to the restoration of relations.

Perhaps the case most analogous to those of the Armenian POWs today was a brief border war between Eritrea and Djibouti in June 2008, as Eritrean forces sought to push into Djibouti in pursuit of a manufactured border claim backed neither by credible maps nor in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Retreating Eritrean troops seized several Djiboutians, both soldiers and civilians. Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, whose police state resembles Azerbaijan minus the oil wealth, proceeded to deny holding any Djiboutians.

Enter Qatar, whose quiet diplomacy finally led Eritrea to release prisoners whose treatment while in custody had been atrocious.

Qatar has also been an intermediary in talks to negotiate the release of Western prisoners held by the Taliban, and has acted as an intermediary as Iran Special Envoy Rob Malley seeks to win the release of Iranian-American hostages held by the Islamic Republic.

Qatar can be a controversial country. I have long criticized it for its ties to groups like Hamas and the Taliban, and its sponsorship of various Muslim Brotherhood groups.

Realistically, however, those same relationships can make it a useful intermediary if done in a manner that neither rewards nor empowers terrorists. Azerbaijan is a satrapy of Turkey, a state with which Qatar has strong ties. Perhaps then, Qatari diplomats can turn their attention to the Caucasus.

They can make hostage release their brand and demonstrate that the religion of the hostages is immaterial to the humanitarian motivation of their involvement. At the same time, Qatari involvement can give Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev a face-saving way to do the right thing.


It is time to bring the Armenian POWs home. Qatar could be the means to do it.

Michael Rubin (@mrubin1971) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential. He is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Armenia ready to accept Russia’s proposal on settlement with Azerbaijan — PM

Russia – May 5 2023
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashiyan recalled that under this proposal, the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status is to be postponed and Russian peacekeepers are to stay in the area

YEREVAN, May 5. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashiyan said on Friday that his country is ready to accept Russia’s August 2022 proposal on the Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement, which was turned down by Azerbaijan and which has not been put forward again.

"In August 2022, we received the Russian side’s proposal on the Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement and were ready to sign it. But Azerbaijan turned it down. After that, we did not see these proposals put on the table by Russia again. I repeat, as soon as such a proposal is voiced, we are ready to move forward on it. We need to know how important it is for Russia to promote its proposal," he said in an interview with Radio Liberty (listed as a foreign agent media).

He recalled that under this proposal, the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status is to be postponed and Russian peacekeepers are to stay in the area.