The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and the Risk of Regional War

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The webinar examined the conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, explore the implications of the recent return to fighting, and consider the risks of regional escalation around the conflict.

The fighting that has broken out around the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is some of the most serious since the war that raged across the region in the early 1990s. Following the ceasefire of 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other occupied districts have remained part of Azerbaijan but being de facto controlled by separatist ethnic Armenians backed by the Armenian government. Despite numerous international mediation efforts to secure an end to the conflict, a peace deal has remained elusive. Instead, tensions have increased and the region has experienced a steady militarisation as all sides have invested in larger and increasingly capable military forces. At the same time, Russia and Turkey, as well as Iran, have become more involved in regional geopolitics, raising concerns that any escalation in fighting could lead to a regional war involving major powers.

This webinar examined why violence has again erupted over Nagorno-Karabakh? It also considered what the implications of the conflict are for regional peace and security and explore the risks of further instability and even escalation as a result of the changing role of regional powers in the south Caucasus and wider Black Sea region? Finally, panellists discussed the prospects for diplomacy to resolve the conflict.


  • Richard Giragosian, Director, Regional Studies Centre, Yerevan
  • Dr. Ziya Meral, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI
  • Dr Sergei Markedonov, Leading Researcher, MGIMO Institute for International Studies and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of International Analytics
  • Dr. Leila Alieva, Russian and East European Studies (REES) affiliate, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford


Chair: Neil Melvin, Director International Security Studies, RUSI

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