Clarifying the influential factors for ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh (November 2020)

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Khatam al-Anbia Army Air Defense University, Tehran, Iran


Clarifying the influential factors for ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh (November 2020)
Extended Abstract
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the sporadic conflicts between Republic of Armenia and Republic of Azerbaijan turned into a total war which resulted in the occupation of seven other regions than Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenia.
the Republic of Azerbaijan, relying on the principle of territorial integrity of the countries, emphasizes the belonging of Nagorno-Karabakh to this country; But Armenia and the Armenian separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh reject the position of the Republic of Azerbaijan and insist that 80% of the inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh are Armenians. they believe that this region should be independent. Several negotiations and mediation of some countries to resolve this crisis peacefully were not successful. The fiercest clashes began on September 27, 2020 when Azerbaijan took military action to reclaim its lost lands. The war lasted for 44 days until November 10, when the two countries accepted Russia brokered peace deal. The main question of the article is what factors caused Azerbaijan and Armenia to accept the ceasefire and agree to its implementation. The purpose of this article is to explain the factors influencing the ceasefire agreement in Nagorno-Karabakh using the theory of decision-making in international relations.
This research is a theoretical study. The methodology of research has a descriptive-analytical nature relying on political geography and geopolitical approach. According to the type of research, data collection and analysis are based on library and documentary methods and using valid and important internal and external written works (including books, articles, reports, etc.) and online resources (websites and online articles).
Results and discussion:
Using new military tactics, the Azerbaijani army made up for the weakness in dominating mountainous areas and liberating the occupied territories, and thereby changed the geography of the conflict. To prevent the concentration of Armenian forces, without entering the central part of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Republic of Azerbaijan established a large warfront from north to south with the extensive use of advanced drones made by Israel and Turkey. The southern axis of Azerbaijani army moved to the south of Karabakh and reclaimed many regions from Armenian forces. The recapture of the strategic city of Shusha by Azerbaijan forced the Armenian side to accept the Russia brokered peace deal.
One of the most important and influential factors for the military and political failures of Armenia in this war is the destruction and weakening of its strategic relations with Russia during last two years. Armenian PM's tendency towards US, and his expectation for US intervention and support in this conflict, weakened Yerevan's relations with Moscow. And finally, due to the lack of support from White House, Mr. Pashinyan was forced to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan which had very serious consequences for him.
Political inexperience, lack of accurate environmental, intelligence and security assessment by the government of Nikol Pashinyan, as well as dismissal of experienced military commanders and heads of the National Security Service caused the government and the army to be unaware of the growing capability of the missile and drone system of Azerbaijan. As a result, the Armenian intelligence, security and military systems did not have a comprehensive and realistic assessment of the outbreak of a full-scale war in Nagorno-Karabakh and could not identify the extent and depth of such a pervasive threat. The arrest and trial of prominent political and military figures with the aim of combating economic and political corruption led to the perception in an important part of Armenian and foreign public opinion that the main goal of the anti-corruption campaign was to eliminate political opponents and it is a settlement of previous political grudges.
These disputes provided an opportunity for the Azerbaijanis to exploit and defeat the Armenians militarily in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh war. Territorial extent, social (population) and especially military and economic factors are among the most influential geopolitical factors that led to the acceptance of a ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Azerbaijan is superior to Armenia in several factors such as population and vastness, annual income, oil production, exports, military budget, professional military personnel and number of military equipment. The imbalance in the effective geopolitical factors (military, territorial and economic) in the Nagorno-Karabakh war led to superiority of Azerbaijan and induced the feeling of further defeats in Armenian if the war continued. So that the Armenian military resources and army were no longer fully efficient, and the army insisted on accepting the ceasefire. in his interpretation of the Collective Security Treaty, Putin effectively gave the green light to Baku that as long as the war in Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven occupied cities around it continues, Russia will not intervene in the war. They were the main winners of the recent dispute. The five-year ceasefire agreement means that up to the next five years, if either party acts against Moscow's interests, circumstances may change to its detriment. Russia liberated Nagorno-Karabakh from the control of Armenian as well as Azerbaijani by establishing a ceasefire and a government under Moscow's supervision. Although Russia did not support Armenia, it did not allow the whole of Nagorno-Karabakh to belong to Baku so that it would not end in favor of only Azerbaijan and Turkey. Russia waited for the Azerbaijan’s attack to reach its peak, then intervened to impose an agreement that its own special forces would guarantee. Russia is convinced that in the event of an emergency, only Moscow can guarantee Armenia’s security and bring Yerevan closer to Moscow again. This would be in Russia's long-term and strategic interests in the South Caucasus.
Results indicate that changes in the geography of conflict and military tactics, Armenia’s miscalculations, lack of geopolitical balance and Russian intervention have led to the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.

South Caucasus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, Azerbaijan, November 2020 ceasefire


Main Subjects

  • امیر احمدیان بهرام،1389، سیاست و امنیت در قفقاز، گردآورنده: ولی کوزه‌گر کالجی، تهران: انتشارت مرکز تحقیقات استراتژیک.
  • حافظ نیا، محمدرضا ،1390، اصول و مفاهیم ژئوپلیتیک، چاپ سوم. مشهد: انتشارات آستان قدس رضوی.
  • دماوندی، محمدرضا ،1399، موضع روسیه در قره‌باغ؛ یک تیر و هفت نشان، ۲۴/8/1399.
  • دوئرتی، جیمز و فالتزگراف، رابرت،1388، نظریه‌های متعارض در روابط بین‌الملل، ترجمه علیرضا طیب و وحید بزرگی، چاپ پنجم. تهران: انتشارات قومس.
  • ذکی، یاشار و پاشالو، احد،1396، عملکرد میانجیگری جمهوری اسلامی ایران در بحران ژئوپلیتیکی قره‌باغ، فصلنامه جغرافیا، 15(53)، 150-133.
  • سقاییان، علی،1399، آیا صلح قره‌باغ پایدار خواهد بود؟27/8/1399 قابل‌دسترسی در:

  • سلیمانی، افشار،1399، مرحله‌ای نوین در روند مناقشه قره‌باغ اشغالی،28/10/2020 قابل‌دسترسی در: /2021816

  • سلیمانی، غلامعلی،1390، نقد و بررسی مدل عقلانی تصمیم‌گیری در سیاست خارجی از گونه‌های تعدیل‌شده الگوی عقلانی تا مدل‌های جایگزین. فصلنامه سیاست خارجی، 2، 360-292.
  • سیف زاده، حسین،1385، اصول روابط بین‌الملل (الف و ب)، چاپ پنجم. تهران: انتشارات میزان.
  • سیف زاده، حسین،1390، اصول روابط بین‌الملل (الف و ب)، چاپ هفتم. تهران: انتشارات میزان.
  • عباس پور، عباس،1382، شأن تصمیم‌گیری در مدیریت: در جستجوی درک مدل‌ها و پارادایم‌های تصمیم‌گیری سازمانی، فصلنامه مدیریت. 2 و 3، 12-1
  • غفاری، امید، ویسی نژاد، امید علی و تقی پور، محمد،1391، مناقشه قره‌باغ و تأثیر آن بر امنیت ملی جمهوری اسلامی ایران. فصلنامه امنیت پژوهی، 11 (39)، 112-91.
  • غلامعلیان، امیر،1389، کاربرد جغرافیای نظامی در طرح‌ریزی‌های عملیاتی، فصلنامه علوم و فنون نظامی، 7(18)، 50-33.
  • قنبرلو، عبدالله،1389، بحران قره‌باغ و بازی قدرت‌های خارجی در آن. تهران : پژوهشکده مطالعات راهبردی.
  • قنبر لو، عبدالله،1392، بنیادهای اقتصادی پذیرش قطعنامه 598 توسط ایران، پژوهش‌نامه دفاع مقدس، 2(5)، 12-1.
  • قوام، عبدالعلی،1380، اصول سیاست خارجی و سیاست بین‌الملل، چاپ پانزدهم. تهران: انتشارات سمت.
  • کاظمی، احمد،1384، امنیت در قفقاز جنوبی، تهران: انتشارات موسسه فرهنگی مطالعات و تحقیقات بین‌المللی ابرار معاصر تهران.
  • کوزه‌گر کالجی، ولی،1399 الف، تأملی بر مخالفت‌های داخلی با توافقنامه آتش‌بس قره‌باغ در جمهوری ارمنستان،25/9/1399 قابل‌دسترسی در:
  • کوزه‌گر کالجی، ولی،1399 ب، تأملی بر مخالفت‌های داخلی با توافقنامه آتش‌بس قره‌باغ در جمهوری آذربایجان،21/9/1399 قابل‌دسترسی در:
  • Abbaspour, ,2003, The dignity of decision Making in Management: In Search of Understanding Organizational Decision Making Models and Paradigms, Management Quarterly, 2 and 3. [in Persian]
  • Amira Ahmadian, B. ,2010, Politics and Security in the Caucasus, Compiled by: Vali Koozegar College, published by the Strategic Research Center. [in Persian]
  • Armenian PM and ex-president accuse each other of ‘diplomatic fiasco. available at: 05,2020.
  • Armenian PM says he signed ceasefire deal on army’s insistence. available at: november 10, 2020
  • Compare key data on ArmeniaAzerbaijan available at:
  • Comparable Powers 2020 available at:
  • CUTLER, R, M,2020,Without Russian Aid to Armenia, Azerbaijan Has the Upper Hand in Nagorno-Karabakh. available at: october 9,2020
  • Damavandi, M. R. ,2020, Russia's position in Nagorno-Karabakh; One arrow and seven badges.november 14,2020, available at:
  • dar, y. ,2020, Why Chinese Drones Instead of Russian Su-30 Jets Could Have Helped Armenia Beat Azerbaijan In Karabakh War? available at: november 17 2020
  • Doherty, J. & Faltzgraf, R. ,2009, Conflicting Theories in International Relations, translated by Alireza Tayeb and Vahid Bozorgi, fifth edition, Tehran: Qomes Publications. [in Persian]
  • Getting from Ceasefire to Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh,available at: november 10, 2020
  • Ghaffari, O., Veisinejad, O. A., & Taghipour, M. ,2012, The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its impact on the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Quarterly Journal of Security Studies, 11(39), 112-91. [in Persian].
  • Ghanbarloo, A. ,2010, The Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis and the Game of Foreign Powers in it. Tehran: Research Institute for Strategic Studies. [in Persian].
  • 33-Ghanbarloo,A,2013, Economic Foundations Adoption of Resolution 598 by Iran. Holy Defense Research Journal, 2(5) 1-12. [in Persian].
  • Ghavam, A A, 2001, Principles of Foreign Policy and International Policy, Fifteenth Edition, Samt Publications. [in Persian]
  • Gholam-Alian, A. ,2010, The usage of military geography in operational planning. Journal of Military Science and Technology, 7(18), 50-33. [in Persian]
  • Gressel, g. ,2020, Military lessons from Nagorno-Karabakh: Reason for Europe to worry. available at: november 24, 2020
  • Gurkan aba, E. ,2020, Armenia dismisses head of national security service. available at: /1999857. november 8, 2020
  • Hafeznia, M R, 2011, Principles and Concepts of Geopolitics, Third Edition, Astan Quds Razavi Publications, Mashhad. [in Persian]
  • Kazemi, A. ,2005, Security in the South Caucasus, Tehran: Publications of the Abrar International Institute for Contemporary Cultural Studies and Research. [in Persian].
  • Kirisci, k., & Ozkan, b. ,2020, After Russia’s Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire, could Turkey step up next for a lasting peace? available at:https:// november 18, 2020
  • koozegar kaleji, V. ,2020 B, contemplation on Internal Opposition to the Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire Agreement in the Republic of Azerbayjan, november 11,2020.Available at:
  • koozegar kaleji, V. ,2020 A, contemplation on Internal Opposition to the Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire Agreement in the Republic of Armenia, december 15,2020.Available at:
  • Lyall, j. ,2020, Drones Are Destabilizing Global Politics Simple Vehicles Make Conflict Tempting and Cheap. available at: 16, 2020
  • nagorno karabakh control map and timeline:artsakh withdrawals.available at: https// december 1, 2020
  • Pashinian: After the fall of Shusha, we came to the conclusion that resistance is useless. available at: november 20 ,2020
  • Ravid, B. ,2020, Azerbaijan using Israeli “kamikaze drones” in Nagorno-Karabakh clashes. available at: september 30, 2020
  • Saghaeian, A. ,2020, will the peace of Nagorno-Karabakh be lasting?.Available at: 17,2020
  • Seifzadeh, H. ,2006, Principles of International Relations (A & B) Fifth Edition, Mizan Publications. [in Persian].
  • Seifzadeh, H. ,2011, Principles of International Relations (A & B), seventh edition, Mizan Publications. [in Persian].
  • Soleimani, Gh-A. ,2011, Critique of the rational model of foreign policy decision-making from modified forms of the rational model to alternative models. Foreign Policy Quarterly, 2, 360-260. [in Persian]
  • Zaki, Y., & Pashaloo, A. ,2017, The Mediation Performance of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Geopolitical Crisis of karabakh. Geography Quarterly, 15(53), 150-133. [in Persian].