Friday Photos – Armenia & Azerbaijan

Nagorno Karabakh Conflict

The two former Soviet Republics are in conflict once more over the Nagorno Karabakh region – officially part of Azerbaijan but with a huge ethnic Armenian population. It is to Armenia what Kosovo is to Albania.

NK as it is known, declared its own independence in the ‘90s and runs as an autonomous state with its own currency and government. As with Serbia’s view of Kosovo though, Azerbaijan very reluctantly tolerates the situation without recognising NK’s right to independence.

The latest conflict has shattered the uneasy peace, reminding us all perhaps of similar fractious relationships in the former Yugoslavia and wider Balkans, and the likes of Chechnya in Russia, Ossetia in Georgia/Russia and Transdnstr, the Russian backed rogue state that is officially (of sorts) part of Moldova.

The latest conflict has the possibility of a bigger international incident however with Turkey (a long-standing adversary of Armenia’s) emboldening Azerbaijan’s stance by supporting their right to take back control by force, and Russia, who have a military base in Armenia, demanding a ceasefire.

I fear that this is a situation that is impossible to truly solve, and another uneasy peace is maybe the best that can be hoped for.

I have fabulous memories of visits to both countries and hope that peace can be restored soon.

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