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Leaders of Breakaway Region Nagorno-Karabakh Announce Its Dissolution

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After thirty-two years of pushing for independent statehood from Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh will cease to exist (FT) on January 1, 2024, its leader said in a decree yesterday. The announcement confirms the breakaway region’s full defeat by Azerbaijan in a swift military operation last week, as the decree prompted the region’s population to “familiarize themselves with the conditions of reintegration” with Azerbaijan.

 

For more than three decades, Nagorno-Karabakh survived as an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, in part due to backing from Russia. But the war in Ukraine and Russia’s search for closer ties with Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey altered the power balance. Russia ordered its peacekeepers to stand aside during last week’s military assault, the New York Times reported. While Azerbaijan says it will peacefully reintegrate ethnic Armenians who choose to stay, many say they do not trust that pledge (Reuters). More than half of the region’s residents have now crossed over to Armenia, with more expected to follow.

“The decree brings to an end one of the most enduring frozen conflicts in the former Soviet space, as well as dissolving the elected government that ruled the territory—a region that had all the trappings of statehood,” the Wall Street Journal’s Thomas Grove writes.

SourceCFR

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