Highlights

Two former Soviet republic nations territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region (known as Artsakh, is a landlocked region) has increased recently with heavy clashes.

Strategic Location

Both countries Armenia & Azerbaijan are a part of the Transcaucasia region (known as South Caucasus). Transcaucasia is the geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It consists of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Georgia at the intersection of Europe and Asia

Backdrop

  • The Nagorno-Karabakh region was established by the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) within Azerbaijan in 1920.
  • The Nagorno-Karabakh region passed a resolution to join Armenia in 1988.
  • The region conducted a referendum in 1991, according to which it declared that it will not join Armenia or Azerbaijan. (In 1991, the Soviet Union disintegrated).
  • 4 Day War (2016 Nagorno-Karabakh clashes): In 2016, Armenia and Azerbaijan were engaged in violent fighting for four days which was later known as Four Day War.

Why the dispute?

The Nagorno-Karabakh region has 95 per cent of Armenian ethnic people. Region is controlled by them. However, the Nagorno-Karabakh region is internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a Muslim majority country and Armenia is Christian majority country.

Effects on India

India-Armenia Relation

India and Armenia bilateral relation has grown rapidly. In March this year, Armenia bought India SWATHI military radar system (wathi is a mobile artillery-locating phased array radar). Armenia has recently witnessed increased flow of Indian labour migrants. Several Indian students are studying in Armenian medical Universities. It is important for Armenia to have close relations with India as India provides counter balance to rival strategic axis between Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

India-Azerbaijan Relation

India and Azerbaijan are part of the International North-South Transport Corridor. The 7,200-km-long Corridor is a multimodal network of sea, rail and road route. The route moves freight between India, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, Europe and Central Asia. Azerbaijan is a member of SCO. Azerbaijan is rich in oil and the ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) of India is an foreign investor in these oil fields.

Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Impact on India Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Impact on India