Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Caucasian-Caspian region has become a stage for the collision of opposing foreign security and energy policies. After 16 years of a very fragile ceasefire, the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh continues to depend not only on the attitudes of the conflict parties, but also and perhaps even more on the re-organization of the region at the political, security and energy levels. Three main developments can affect the prospects for conflict resolution in Karabakh: the parties’ growing frustration with the OSCE Minsk-Group mediation; the US-brokered Turkish-Armenian rapprochement and the deterioration in US-Azeri relations; and finally, Russia’s resurgence in the region. These three inter-related factors could result in a new regional scenario marked by the emergence of an energy triangle between Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey, which in turn could impact on the destiny of Nagorno-Karabakh.
1. The context: conflict dynamics in Nagorno-Karabakh
1.1 The deadlocked OSCE Minsk-Group process and the EU’s low-key role in Nagorno-Karabakh
1.2 The US-brokered Turkey-Armenia rapprochement and US-Azeri relations
1.3 Russia’s resurgence in the region
2. Azerbaijan-Russia-Turkey energy triangle