From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nagorno-Karabakh region
Mains level : Usual crisis in the middle east and caucasus region
Clashes have erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Consider this PYQ:
Q.The area is known as ‘Golan Heights’ sometimes appears in the news in the context of the events related to: (CSP 2015)
a) Central Asia
b) Middle East
c) South-East Asia
d) Central Africa
What is the dispute?
- Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians, declared martial law and mobilized their male populations.
- Armenia said Azerbaijan had carried out an air and artillery attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.
Epicentre: The Nagorno-Karabakh region
- Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
- Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994 after thousands of people were killed and many more displaced.
- Azerbaijan and Armenia frequently accuse each other of attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the separate Azeri-Armenian frontier.
Economics behind the clashes
- The clashes prompted a flurry of diplomacy to prevent a new flare-up of a decades-old conflict between majority Christian Armenia and mainly Muslim Azerbaijan.
- Pipelines shipping Caspian oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan to the world pass close to Nagorno-Karabakh.
- The clashes have raised concerns about instability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets.