The long simmering Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict, centering around the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and subject to frequent eruptions over the course of its post Soviet history, has blown once again. At least four Azeri soldiers were killed and scores wounded, in addition to a number of wounded Armenian soldiers.
The festering Nagorno-Karabakh dispute has concerned the international community in part because of its threat to stability in a region that serves as a corridor for pipelines taking oil and gas to world markets.
The latest clash in the Tavush area puts the fighting even closer to the pipelines, including the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP).
SCP is part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which also includes the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). This combined network of pipelines is due to start carrying gas from Azerbaijan to Europe this year, upon completion of TAP.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a security watchdog that has tried to help find a solution to the conflict, urged the two countries to speak to each other to prevent any further escalation.