ICG map of part of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border area

“Preventing a Bloody Harvest on the Armenia-Azerbaijan State Border” is the title of the recently published report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, which proposes ways to de-escalate tensions at the said border.

The report was prepared before the July clashes on the border, while the situation was largely stable. In its introduction, ICG argued that “diplomatic progress on the border not only would be easier to accomplish than progress over Nagorno-Karabakh, but also, at this point, is an essential prerequisite for it.”

In its Principal Findings section, the report suggests one way to prevent escalations. “The two sides should use the [bilateral] communication channel to warn each other about planned engineering works or other activities that might be misconstrued and lead to escalation. They should begin talks on limited cooperation to allow farmers to harvest crops, repair water networks and clear mines.”

ICG has published a series of reports on the Karabakh conflict, its previous report was on Covid-19-related challenges in unrecognized states.