A Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement that stopped the 2020 war for Nagorno-Karabakh commits Armenia to opening rail and road links between Azerbaijan and its Nakhichevan exclave. Armenia should be able, for its part, to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route for cargo shipments to Russia and Iran.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly claimed that the deal calls for a special “corridor” that will connect Nakhichevan to the rest of Azerbaijan via Armenia’s Syunik province. He has said people and cargo passing through it must be exempt from Armenian border controls.
Yerevan maintains, however, that the deal envisages only conventional transport links between the two countries.
In written comments to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service sent on Monday, Pashinian’s office said the prime minister believes that the so-called “Zangezur corridor” demanded by Baku would jeopardize Armenia’s territorial integrity.
Pashinian and Aliyev discussed the matter during their trilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel held in Brussels on April 6. Pashinian said after the talks that Baku and Yerevan continue to disagree on practical modalities of restoring bilateral transport links. But he said the two sides will keep trying to “find solutions.”
Aliyev and Pashinian agreed to restore Armenian-Azerbaijani rail links during their previous meeting with Michel held in December. But they failed to patch up their differences on the status of the Syunik highway for Nakhichevan.