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A convoy of Azerbaijani tanks moves toward Agdam, Azerbaijan, Aug. 2, 2014 (AP photo by Abbas Atilay).

Armenia and Azerbaijan Are Stuck Perpetually Between Peace and All-Out War

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017

After years of “frozen conflict” over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted into brief, full-scale fighting in April 2016. Since then, the two sides have steadily been engaged in isolated attacks with increasingly advanced weaponry. While avoiding open conflict, they remain poised for another bout of combat and appear incapable of resolving their longstanding dispute over the territory, which is controlled by Armenian-backed separatists but still internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. In an email interview, Audrey Altstadt, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of “Frustrated Democracy in Post-Soviet Azerbaijan,” explains the roots of the conflict, how both populations continue to beat the drum of war, and why Russia is the most likely candidate for keeping the peace.

WPR: What is at the heart of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and why have the sides been resistant to negotiations and a permanent settlement? ...

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