Armenia Reportedly Recognizes Artsakh as a Part of Azerbaijan

The EU and Armenia have released a joint statement which declares that Armenia has committed to “the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, based on mutual recognition of sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of Armenia (29,800km2) and Azerbaijan (86,600km2)”. Azerbaijan’s territorial area in this statement of course includes Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), and is treated as an official recognition by Armenia of Artsakh as Azeri territory.

Previously, the status of Artsakh has been a contentious issue regarding any potential peace deals between Armenia and Azerbaijan. While Armenia did not technically recognize Artsakh as independent, they did not really recognize it as Azeri territory either. In pursuing peace deals between the two nations, a mutual recognition of territory was at the top of the list for pre-requisites. However, beforehand Pashinyan had not recognized Artsakh as Azeri territory as he petitioned for specific security and rights guarantees for the Armenian populace.

Notably, Azerbaijan is still in possession of at least 65km2 of Armenian territory, seized in a series of attacks across the past couple of years. In previous conversations over territorial recognition, Pashinyan demanded Azerbaijan withdraw from the pieces they had taken. While the declaration of 29,800km2 of Armenia includes these territories, it is unclear if Azerbaijan intends to withdraw from them for a “mutual recognition” of border sovereignty.