On May 18 2021, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a level 4 travel advisory for Armenia. This latest advisory follows from the last one which was issued a month ago on 21 April. Both advisories maintained the same stance on health, “The CDC has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Armenia due to COVID-19 indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.” What strikingly differs from these advisories issued just one month apart lies in the details:
The advisory from DOS on 21 April affirms an existence of an international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, stating, “Avoid roads near the ‘line of contact’ and roads near the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.” As of the latest advisory on 18 May, the DOS does not contain – or perhaps retain – Its stance on recognition of international borders, stating, “Be aware that some portions of the road may cross international boundaries without notice.”
April 21, 2021 U.S. Travel Advisory
Do not travel to The Nagorno-Karabakh region due to armed conflict. Casualties continue to occur in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Intermittent gunfire and occasional use of artillery systems, including land mines and mortars, result in deaths and injuries each year. Avoid roads near the ‘line of contact’ and roads near the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
May 18, 2021 U.S. Travel Advisory
Do not travel to The Nagorno-Karabakh region and surrounding territories due to recent hostilities. Casualties continue to occur following intensive fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that occurred in the fall 2020. Be aware that some portions of the road may cross international boundaries without notice. Roads may be controlled by checkpoints or closed to travelers without notice.
In France, President of the French Republic and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs stated on 13 May and 16 May respectively, its commitment to preserving Armenia’s territorial integrity. France advises French nationals to avoid travel near the border with Azerbaijan including, ‘sectors where it is being delimited’ (translation).
As for advisories issued from non-Minsk Group co-chair countries, the Embassy of Poland in Yerevan has issued a statement on May 17, “In view of the recent events in the border sectors of Syunik and Gegharkunik provinces and agreed with the tense situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the Embassy of Poland urges its citizens to avoid traveling to Armenia’s Tavush, Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor and Syunik provinces.”
In UK, the FCDO advise against all travel in Armenia: (updated 24 February 2021)
- within 5km of the full eastern border between Armenia and Azerbaijan
- along the M16/H26 road between the towns of Ijevan and Noyemberyan
UK has also issued a travel advice for Azerbaijan – notably a more current advisory – updated on 19 May 2021, to avoid all travel to, “Nagorno-Karabakh, The rayons of Zengilan, Jabrayil, Qubadli, Lachin and Kelbajar. Western areas of Khojavand, Fuzuli and Aghdam rayons.”
Canada’s travel advisory for Armenia: (updated April 22, 2021)
- Avoid non-essential travel to Armenia due to political tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
- Avoid all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas due to the tense political situation and the risk of armed conflict.
- Avoid all travel to within 5 km of the border with Azerbaijan due to the unpredictable security situation and the risk of armed conflict.