Nagorno-Karabakh: An Unacceptable Status Quo


Kashatagh Region, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. Image by Onnik Krikorian for Oneworld Multimedia/Flickr.

In addition to pop songs and glitzy costumes, the Eurovision song contest is notorious for how neighboring countries usually vote for each other rather than the best performer. But when this year’s contest takes place in Baku on May 26, don’t expect Azerbaijan to give any votes to its neighbor Armenia. Indeed, there will be no points for Armenia; they have pulled out of the event, citing animosity from Azeri authorities including President Ilham Aliyev, who said in February, “Our main enemies are Armenians of the world, and the hypocritical and corrupt politicians under their control.”

What could have been a feel-good confidence-building measure has turned into another example of how the unresolved status of Nagorno-Karabakh continues to poison relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan more than twenty years after the two countries went to war over this mountainous region.