Armenian parliament to debate increasing military spending

An extraordinary session of Armenia’s parliament is expected to meet today to discuss recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh. Tensions between Azerbaijan

Nagrono Karabakh

Photo: EPA-EFE/Hayk Baghdasaryan /PhotoLure

An extraordinary session of Armenia’s parliament is expected to meet today to discuss recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region have escalated over the past week. On September 28, Armenia’s parliament condemned what it described as a “full-scale military attack” by Azerbaijan on the territory. Azerbaijani and Armenian forces have exchanged heavy rocket and artillery fire throughout the week, with each side accusing the other of targeting civilians.

The clashes are the worst since the 1990s, when nearly 30,000 people were killed in fighting over the territory. Given the potential transnational ramifications of escalation—the South Caucuses run a number of crucial pipelines carrying Azeri oil and natural gas to world markets—the present crisis could develop into a larger regional confrontation. Turkey has already come to the support of Azerbaijan.

Another resolution from Armenia condemning Azerbaijan and increasing military spending would be a clear indicator of Armenia’s resolve to not back down over Nagorno-Karabakh in the short-term. In the medium- to long-term, increased Turkish involvement or an attempt by Russia or the EU to mediate an end to persisting hostilities is possible.

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