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    Tensions High Over Isolated Azerbaijan Region

    Tensions High Over Isolated Azerbaijan Region

    MOSCOW (AP) — Two years after and Armenia ended a war that killed about 6,800 soldiers and displaced around 90,000 civilians, tensions between the countries are again high in a dispute over a six-kilometer (nearly four-mile) road known as the Lachin Corridor.

    The winding road, which is the only land connection between Armenia and the ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan, has been blocked by protesters claiming to be environmental activists since mid-December, threatening food supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh's 120,000 people.

    The dispute raises fears that fighting could break out. It also could destabilize Armenia's chronically excitable politics. As well, it casts doubts on the competence and intentions of , whose peacekeeping troops are charged with keeping the road secure.


    Mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh, smaller than the U.S. state of Delaware, has significant cultural importance to both Armenians and Azeris. It had a substantial degree of autonomy within azerbaijan when it was part of the Soviet Union. As the deteriorated, Armenian separatist unrest broke out, later turning into a full-scale war after the Soviet Union collapsed.

    Most of the Azeri population was driven out by the end of the fighting in 1994. Ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia took control not only of Nagorno-Karabakh itself but of sizable surrounding Azerbaijani areas.

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