President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, warned the Armenian armed forces that their attacks on Azerbaijani oil pipelines will go through a ‘harsh response’. Few days back, Azerbaijani authorities accused Armenia of launching missiles to target the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. The pipeline carries Azebaijani crude to Turkey and other global markets. However, the Armenian Defence Ministry denied the accusation of any such attack on oil and gas facilities.
During an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haber Turk, Aliyev said that if Armenia continues to damage the export pipelines on Azerbaijani territory, the response will be 'really harsh'. He added that this is a warning. Aliyev also suggested that the European countries that will be receiving gas through the TANAP pipeline in 2021 should also warn Armenia. He further talked about how such projects are highly important for European energy security. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region goes back to almost a century. It has resulted in severe human rights violations, failed diplomatic talks, refugee crisis, deaths and destruction.
However, on September 27, a fresh conflict hit the region and is being considered as the heaviest in decades. The Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict has raised international concern about stability in the South Caucasus, a region zig-zagged with pipelines that Azeri oil and gas to world markets. While internationally, the Nagorno-Karabakh region is recognised as a de jure part of Azerbaijan, Armenians claim that the region was a part of their kingdom from the fourth century BCE. Joseph Stalin decided to make the Nagorno-Karabakh region an autonomous oblast of Azerbaijan. Various global leaders were daunted at the possibility of fighting spilling over to other regional powers — Turkey and Russia. While Ankara is Azerbaijan’s strongest supporter, Moscow, on the other hand, has a military base in Armenia.