The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in the Artsakh-region (Nagorno-Karabakh)

Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, is a mountainous region that has been inhabited by Armenians for thousands of years. Its people have been fighting for reunification with Armenia for nearly a century, after it was split by Stalin and the USSR. Today the region has been violently annexed by Azerbaijan, a corrupt and anti-democratic regime. We support the right of self-determination for the people of Artsakh.

Armenian for more than 2700 years

Artsakh has been continuously inhabited by Armenians since the 7th century BC. Despite being surrounded by the rise and fall of neighboring empires, Artsakh has always been distinguished by its determination to belong to the Armenian people. Artsakh and Armenia have been one entity throughout the Romans, Persians, Ottomans, and others.


In the last century, Soviet control of the Caucus region resulted in a dramatic reshaping of Armenia’s borders. Artsakh was separated from Armenia and placed under Azerbaijani administration by the USSR, a move that was violently resisted at the time, and is still in dispute to this day.


With the fall of the USSR in the early 90’s, violent conflicts over control of the region resulted in liberation of Artsakh. Azerbaijan recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as a third party in the war and they started direct negotiations with the Karabakh authorities. With some exceptions, a cease-fire held from 1994 until 2020 between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and a self-governing Artsakh. 


Free from the USSR and with new-found wealth in oil and gas, Azerbaijan engaged in a massive campaign of bribery and illegal influence of European leaders, known as the “Azerbaijani Laundromat”, where they attempted to whitewash their grave human rights violations, and to purchase support for their claims over Karabakh. They also invested billions of dollars into modernizing their military, largely with Turkish weaponry.


In September 2020, in coordination with Turkey’s military leaders and with Syrian mercenaries, Azerbaijan launched an offensive against Artsakh. International bodies accused Azerbaijan of engaging in war crimes, including targeting civilian and torturing prisoners. Azerbaijan’s military superiority resulted in rapid advancement, and much of Artsakh was annexed. A ceasefire was reached about six weeks later, brokered by Russia and Turkey. The terms included the deployment of Russian peacekeepers, and Azeri control of major areas.    


The future of the region is uncertain. What is painfully clear, however, is the Azeri destruction of cultural heritage sites such as Jugha, continued human rights abuses, dangerous propaganda, and incitement of ethnic hate crimes. The Armenians of Artsakh who had been living in an independent democracy are now subject to suffer under an autocratic regime with one of the worst human rights records in the world.   

Our Actions

The Switzerland-Armenia Association provides historical, legal and cultural evidence which makes it easy to understand the indisputable truth that this territory belongs to the Armenian people. We also lobby the Swiss government to recognize the rights of Armenians who are attempting to exercise the shared Swiss values of liberty, democracy, and self-determination. 

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Armenian girls in Armenian traditional dress - GSA

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