This week in post-ceasefire developments Azerbaijan

By | Rachel Brooks

April 7, 2021

“View across Aras River to Mountain Range in Nakhchivan Exclave – Azerbaijan – Iranian Azerbaijan – Iran” by Adam Jones, Ph.D. – Global Photo Archive is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

Pursuant to post-44 day war activity, Azerbaijan has proceeded with military drills, communication reestablishment, and construction of a new railway in the Nakhchivan province. 

AzerNews reported on April 6 that joint drills with Azerbaijani and Turkish forces would commence and continue until April 8. 

This was reported by The Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume 18, Issue 54 on April 5. Proceedings follow a state visit by President and First Lady Aliyev on February 14 to Fizuli, Zangilan, Lachin, and Jabrayil Districts. 

Aliyev symbolically laid the foundation for the new railway construction in Fizuli on February 14. The foundation for the Horadiz-Agband railway was reported by Eurasia Daily Monitor to be a major groundbreaking effort toward bringing transportation to the isolated Nakhchivan region. In recent news, Azerbaijan has sought to secure Nakhchivan, with military drills reported in the region in the last week, citing AzerNews. Training and activity in the region have also seen the successful apprehension of those parties who would seek to violate the terms of the ceasefire agreement and illegally cross the Azerbaijani border. 

“Border transgressors, who were detected by drones, were surrounded from different directions and detained as a result of a successful search operation. After the transfer of the detainees to the relevant authorities, activities in the border search area were suspended,” wrote AzerNews on March 30. 

On March 26, MenaFN likewise reported that Azerbaijani forces had held antitank tactical drills in the region, building on the experience gained during the 44-day war. 

This was a natural progression of increased security efforts in the post-war region. Azerbaijan has also begun the process of negotiating restored communications links in the region with Armenia. Caspian News reported on March 17 that Armenia had agreed to guarantee the safety of transport links that connect western Azerbaijan including the Nakhchivan region. This was a progression from violations of the process that Aliyev reported on March 7. 

“President Ilham Aliyev has arrived in the Fizuli region to lay the foundation of the Horadiz-Agband railway,” said the statement from the Azerbaijani presidential offices. 

“It was noted that the strategic length of this 100-kilometer railway is of great importance. Because this transport infrastructure will play an important role in ensuring the movement of Azerbaijani citizens to the liberated lands, and the most important issue will be a great contribution to the establishment of a direct railway transport link between the main part of Azerbaijan and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The head of state laid the foundation of the Horadiz-Agband railway.”