The deputy prime ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia will meet in Moscow today.
The meeting is a continuation of border delimitation and security talks first held in May aiming to mediate tensions between the two countries. Fighting between the two flared up at the end of August with renewed border clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh disputed region. The meeting’s location in Moscow, as well as general Russian involvement in mediation talks, is likely an indicator of Russia’s desire to avoid the outbreak of an expanded conflict—such as what occurred in 2020.
Nevertheless, mediation talks are unlikely to succeed in the near to medium-term due to the military capabilities of Russia being occupied in its war in Ukraine. A scaling down of the Russian presence in the region to reinforce its units in Ukraine is also likely given the large number of casualties Russian forces have sustained. Therefore Azerbaijan—with the backing of Turkey—is likely to continue its confrontationist stance against Armenia to test the capabilities of Russian peacekeeping forces. Should the Russian presence in the region be reduced or removed completely, the likelihood of renewed open conflict will increase significantly.
Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.