Zelenskyy Scraps Armenia, Azerbaijan Trips After Baku Move

Zelenskyy's Diplomatic Strategy Faces Unexpected Hurdle

by Zain ul Abedin
Zelenskyy Scraps Armenia, Azerbaijan Trips After Baku Move
© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In an unexpected shift from prior expectations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has abruptly canceled his forthcoming official visits to Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to a report from Radar Armenia. This announcement comes as a surprise, particularly because the anticipation around these visits had been building, with specific dates even being floated in the media.

Originally, President Zelenskyy was scheduled to visit Yerevan and Baku in March, with speculation from Radio Azatutyun hinting at a potential visit to Armenia on March 4th. However, the sudden cancellation, reportedly influenced by a decision from Baku, has left many questioning the underlying reasons, which have yet to be publicly disclosed.

President Zelenskyy's engagements with the leaders of both nations in the past, especially during international forums, highlight the significance of these now-canceled visits. A notable interaction occurred in early October 2023, when Zelenskyy met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the sidelines of the European political community summit in Granada.

These meetings underscore the importance of Ukraine's relationships with both Armenia and Azerbaijan amidst the ongoing regional dynamics.

Pivotal Diplomatic Shift

Prime Minister Pashinyan's recent declarations add layers to this development.

He has articulated Armenia's neutral stance in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, distancing his country from aligning with Moscow. This position was further solidified by Armenia's announcement of "freezing" its membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance led predominantly by Russia.

This decision marks a pivotal shift in the region's geopolitical landscape, underscoring the complexity of the relationships and alliances that President Zelenskyy navigates. The cancellation of these visits not only raises questions about the immediate diplomatic implications but also signals the unpredictable nature of international relations in a region fraught with tensions and alliances that are continuously evolving.

As stakeholders and observers await further details, the broader repercussions of this decision on Ukraine's diplomatic efforts in the Caucasus remain to be seen.