The Ceasefire Agreement in 1994 and Attempts at Peaceful Solution

Instability in the Region and Unified Turkish-Azeri Blockade of Armenia

Since 1993, Turkey, as an act of solidarity against their Azeri cousins, have the closed the border with Armenia and demand that the Armenians should, other than the issue of the Armenian Genocide, first evacuate Karabakh and its adjacent Armenian-controlled Azerbaijani regions before opening the border and establishing normal diplomatic relations with its neighbor.

For Karabakh, this means that the only contact with the outside world must be maintained through Armenia. Azerbaijan and Turkey also make sure to exclude Armenia and Karabakh from all regional economic and industrial projects to increasingly isolate them, thus forcing their governments to agree to the Azeri and Turkish conditions for the normalization of relations with respective country. One example is the oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhan, transporting Azeri oil from Baku to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Coast. The shortest route would have been to draw the pipeline straight through Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. However, Azerbaijan refused to approve this shortest route that would pass through Armenia. Officially, it was the unresolved Karabakh conflict which prevented the the pipe line to go through Armenia to the Turkish port. In the end, they chose (1 August 2002) the route Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, where the pipeline would be routed around Armenia and through Georgia. This meant a longer distance of 210 km and an additional cost of at least half a billion dollars.[101] Another similar recent project is the railway Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, which bypasses Armenia, designed to exclude Armenia from the regional transportation network, which obviously will lead to further isolation of Armenia.[102] A large portion of the increased income of Azeri oil and gas exports is used for the purchase of new and advanced weapons materials, which in turn fuels the Azeri war tone and the threat of renewed war.

This policy is revealed in a clear manner in the recent Azeri statements which openly points out that the Armenian people have two choices "prosperity without Karabakh or poverty with Karabakh.[103] This deliberate policy of trying to push Armenia to the degree of poverty that "people will even stop thinking aobut Karabakh" is confirmed more or less directly, among others by Azerbaijan's President Aliyev and other official individuals.[104] In his speech at a conference held on February 28, 2012, President Aliyev enumerated the country's enemies and said that "First, our main enemies are Armenians of the world."[105] Similar documents and statements give the Armenian side even more reasons for suspicion, who argue that this rhetoric highly foils all Azeri promises of goodwill towards the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Notes

101) Armenian Assembly of America, Baku-Ceyhan Energy Transportation Route through Armenia, Washington DC, 12 April 2002.
102) This view has been expressed including of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev. See citations in Emil Danielle Lair, House Panel Blocks U.S. Funding For 'Anti-Armenian' Rail Link, RFE/RL, 15 June 2006, http://origin.azatutyun.am/content/article/1582526.html
103) Galib Mammadov, Nagorno Karabakh Conflict: Armenia's Victory or Nightmare?, in Foreign Policy Journal, 13 October 2011; http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/10/13/nagorno-karabakh-conflict-armeniasvictory-or-nightmare-2;
104) Enes Ibrahim, Armenia's aggressive policies main Obstacle for the country's development, in News.az, 31 October 2011; http://news.az/articles/politics/47854. See also Ilham Aliyev, Karabakh's independence will never be subject of Negotiations, Aliyev, in News.az, 13 July 2011; http://news.az/articles/politics/40321
105) The President of Azerbaijan, Closing Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the conference on the results of the third year Into the State Program on the socio-economic development of districts for 2009-2013 , Baku, 28 February 2012, http://en.president.az/articles/4423