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Armenia Azerbaijan Zangezur Corridor

Tensions Grow Over Zangezur Corridor, as Russia Losing Dominant Position on the Caspian (Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation)

Two seemingly unrelated developments are worrying officials in the South Caucasus, Russia and the West. On the one hand, tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the opening of a transit corridor between Azerbaijan and its non-contiguous Nakhchivan autonomy are growing, the result of Armenia’s failure to agree to reopen it after the 44-day Second Karabakh War in 2020. And on the other hand, Russians are increasingly concerned that Moscow’s dominance of the Caspian Sea is being called into question. That heretofore primacy is being eroded by the expansion of the navies of the other littoral states; but at the same time, the failure of Iran to ratify the 2018 delimitation convention legally leaves open the possibility that outside powers—Turkey in particular—could insert their own forces there in the interim. Such a development could dramatically change the already gradually shifting military balance in the region as well as make a new war more likely, with its outcomes less easy to predict.

Tensions Grow Over Zangezur Corridor, as Russia Losing Dominant Position on the Caspian – Jamestown