Impact of the war in Ukraine on the South Caucasus region

On February 16, 2023, we organised a second online webinar this year with our Young Leaders‘ Programme members. The discussion focused on the war in Ukraine and its impact on the South Caucasus region.

At the beginning of September 2022, Azerbaijan launched a massive artillery bombardment of neighbouring Armenia, using military force outside the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The timing was not a coincidence: Russian forces were too heavily engaged in Ukraine to intervene elsewhere. This demonstration of the CSTO’s impotence as a collective defence organization and Moscow’s inability to provide military aid to strategic partners will likely have a lasting impact on the security dynamics of the South Caucasus. Armenia is formally a member of the CSTO.

Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev has since been quick to take advantage of Russia’s total commitment to its war in Ukraine and the West’s willingness to decrease its dependence on Russian natural gas. It is not plausible that Armenia could regain any time soon control of the territory it lost in the second war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan has announced his readiness to return disputed territory to Azerbaijan with several conditions, such as protecting Armenians who still live there and preserving their autonomy.

The lecture was given by Mr. Armen Grigoryan from the Centre for Policy Studies in Yerevan. The lecture took place in the framework of his week-long programme in Slovakia.