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Armenia Raises Alarm of 'Ethnic Cleansing' as Mass Exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh Enclave Continues

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Thousands Flee Nagorno-Karabakh as Armenia Blames Russia for Security Failure

Thousands of ethnic Armenians have been forced to flee their homes in the breakaway enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, following a lightning military operation by Azerbaijan that resulted in the region coming under full control of Azerbaijan. Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan publicly accused Russia of failing to ensure the country's security, exacerbating fears of major unrest in the Caucasus region. The United States has called for Azerbaijan to uphold a ceasefire and protect the rights of civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Mass Exodus and Humanitarian Crisis

The mass exodus of civilians from Nagorno-Karabakh has led to hundreds of cars, buses, and open-top trucks traversing the Lachin Corridor, a mountain road connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. As of Tuesday morning, an estimated 13,350 people had entered Armenia from the region. The Armenian government has pledged to provide accommodation for those fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh who have no place to live.

Explosion and Rising Tensions

In addition to the displacement of civilians, an explosion at a fuel depot in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in the reported deaths of at least 20 people and left over 200 injured. The cause of the blast remains unclear. Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of attempting to ethnically cleanse Nagorno-Karabakh, a charge that Azerbaijan denies.

Armenia's Frustration with Russia

Armenia, which has traditionally relied on Russia for security, has expressed growing frustration with what it perceives as a lack of support from the Kremlin. Prime Minister Pashinyan blamed Azerbaijan's military operation on a policy of ethnic cleansing and criticized the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia, in turn, rejected Pashinyan's assertions and accused Western influence of being detrimental to Armenia.

Strained Relations and Strategic Mistakes

Armenia's strained relationship with Russia has led to discussions about the country potentially withdrawing from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Moscow-led security bloc. Pashinyan admitted that depending solely on the Kremlin for security guarantees had been a strategic mistake. Analysts suggest that Pashinyan's grip on power is weakening due to the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis and a lack of internal and external support. In conclusion, the mass exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia's accusations against Russia have intensified the ongoing crisis in the region. The displacement of thousands of ethnic Armenians and the explosion at the fuel depot have further exacerbated the humanitarian situation. Armenia's strained relationship with Russia and strategic miscalculations by its leadership have added complexity to the conflict.

Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis: Potential Implications for New Business Ventures

The recent military operation by Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh has forced thousands of ethnic Armenians to flee their homes, sparking a potential humanitarian crisis. This situation, coupled with Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's criticism of Russia for perceived security failures, has heightened tensions in the Caucasus region.

Humanitarian Crisis and Business Impact

The mass displacement of civilians from Nagorno-Karabakh could disrupt local economies and impact new business ventures in the region. The Armenian government's commitment to providing accommodation for the displaced may divert resources, potentially affecting economic stability and business confidence.

Escalating Tensions and Business Risk

The explosion at a fuel depot in Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in numerous casualties, adds to the escalating tensions. Armenia's accusation of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijan, which the latter denies, further complicates the situation. These developments could increase business risk, particularly for enterprises operating in or planning to enter the region.

Armenia-Russia Relations and Strategic Considerations

Armenia's strained relationship with Russia, traditionally its security ally, could influence the geopolitical landscape. Pashinyan's criticism of the Russian peacekeeping contingent and discussions about Armenia potentially withdrawing from the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) may impact regional stability. These factors could affect strategic planning for new businesses.

Leadership Challenges and Business Environment

Analysts suggest that Pashinyan's leadership is weakening due to the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis and a lack of support. This political instability could influence the business environment in Armenia, potentially impacting new business formations. In light of the ongoing crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia's strained relationship with Russia, new businesses must navigate potential challenges and prepare for a changing geopolitical landscape. This situation underscores the importance of robust risk management and strategic planning for new business ventures.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/26/nagorno-karabakh-thousands-flee-as-armenia-warns-of-ethnic-cleansing.html
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