EXPLAINER: Tensions high over isolated Azerbaijan region


              Nagorno-Karabakh schoolchildren warm themselves around a stove in the classroom in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity during the dispute. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Local residents walk down a street in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Local residents are gather at a food store in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Food coupons passport are placed on a local family's table at their home in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Two boys fire up the a stove to warm themselves sitting at home in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Two young women walk down in a street in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              A woman and her son have a dinner at their home in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity to the region during the dispute. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              A couple walk in the fog along the street in a poorly lit Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity to the region during the dispute. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Cars queuing to fill up with natural gas in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity to the region during the dispute. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Ruben Vardanyan, the State Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh leads a cabinet meeting in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Vardanyan thanked all the deputies of the European Parliament, referring to their discussions on the rights of the people and the resolution adopted as a result. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Two elderly women warm themselves at a hitter in a room in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity to the region during the dispute. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan talk on the sidelines of a regular session of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Yerevan, Armenia, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Pashinyan this month refused to allow Armenia to host military exercises of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization alliance, saying that "Russia's military presence in Armenia not only fails to guarantee its security, but it raises security threats for Armenia." (Vladimir Smirnov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
            
              FILE - Russian military vehicles roll along a road towards the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. The war ended with a Russia-brokered armistice under which Azerbaijan regained control of parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and all the surrounding territory previously occupied by Armenians. Russia sent a peacekeeping force of 2,000 troops to maintain order, including ensuring that the Lachin Corridor remained open. (AP Photo/Sergei Grit, File)
            
              A man refills gas cylinders for local residents at a street market in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity to the region during the dispute. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Firewood put up for sale are seen in a car trunk in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity to the region during the dispute. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Customers visit an almost empty food store in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              Nagorno-Karabakh schoolchildren warm themselves around a stove in the classroom in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. Local authorities have called for a humanitarian airlift for critical supplies, but Azerbaijan has not authorized the region's airport to operate. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)
            
              A boy looks at a candle trying to warm himself at home in Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. In the region have been periodic shutoffs of gas and electricity to the region during the dispute. Protesters claiming to be ecological activists have blocked the only road leading from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than a month, leading to increasing food shortages. (Edgar Harutyunyan/PAN Photo via AP)