Azerbaijani president rejects idea of OSCE ceasefire investigation along Nagorno-Karabakh border

By bne IntelliNews June 28, 2016

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev appeared to backtrack on an agreement with Armenia and peace mediating Minsk Group, which operates under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to investigate ceasefire violations along the line of contact with the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The OSCE has limited monitoring capabilities of the conflict area, consisting of missions of six monitors sent every few months with prior notice and approval from Azerbaijan and Armenia. The conflict between the two countries over the breakaway region and seven surrounding territories is nearing its third decade. A ceasefire agreement ended a bloody war in 1994, but brought no peace settlement. As such, the agreement is frequently violated, most notably in April, when a four-day war is believed to have resulted in 200 casualties on both sides.

The Minsk Group co-chairs - the US, France and Russia- have been pressing for a larger number of monitors at the frontline. However, in a speech on June 25 Aliyev said that there was no need for a “mechanism to investigate incidents at this stage” and that the number of monitors would increase to a maximum of 16, from the current six.

According to APA news agency, the head of state questioned the efficiency of such measures and their effect on the conflict. “If this means freezing the conflict and the adoption of any other measures at the line of contact, Azerbaijan will of course not agree”. Baku lost some 13% of its internationally recognised territory during the war in the 1990s, and has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the pace of peace negotiations.

In an emailed comment to bne IntelliNews on June 23, Richard Giragosian, director of the Yerevan-based Regional Studies Centre, noted that Azerbaijan's fulfillment of its promises to allow increased OSCE monitoring will be the “real test” to ongoing peace negotiations.

“Nevertheless, the real test will be in the coming months, when Azerbaijan will be expected to fulfill its promises to allow an increased OSCE monitoring mission, which it has previously opposed. Yet even this step, if implemented, does little to inspire confidence in diplomacy, especially as the lack of political will remains bolstered by Baku's domestic dividends from using force over diplomacy. In this context, we can only expect more fighting into the summer, especially as Azerbaijan's new military objective of seizing and securing territory has, at least to a limited degree, succeeded in altering the deadlock of a deadly status quo,”  he noted.

Aliyev has met with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan twice since the April escalation in violence- once in Vienna in May and, more recently in St. Petersburg on June 20. Statements that the parts had reached an agreement in St. Petersburg were later disputed. The outcome of the latest negotiations efforts was the maintain of a trilateral format Russia-Azerbaijan-Armenia, in addition to the Minsk Group, for peace negotiations looking ahead.

Related Articles

Eurasian Development Bank cuts Armenian growth forecasts

Armenia's economy is expected to expand by 2% in 2016 before accelerating to 2.3% next year,  the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) said in the latest quarterly outlook. Both estimates ... more

Armenia criticises Lavrov's calls for Turkey to mediate Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Armenia's Deputy Parliament Speaker​, Eduard Sharmazanov, decried Russia's invitation that Turkey participate in moderating the peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the ... more

Armenia's second largest lender merges with local subsidiary of Russia's Gazprombank

Armenia's second largest lender, Ardshinbank, merged with the local subsidiary of Russia's Gazprombank, on October 11, the banks announced in a joint press release. The merged bank will ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.