Hakari, Azerbaijan - Polarsteps
The plan was to drive through the Republic of Artsakh, also known as “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” to Baku, Azerbaijan. Turns out it’s not that easy. When I arrived at the military border I was first told that I need to get permission from the ministry of foreign affairs in Yerevan. One of the soldiers was speaking English quite well and told me to wait a little. He then made a couple of phone calls and after about half an hour he told me smiling that indeed he can get me a visa right here. He made it very clear though that I can not cross from the Republic of Artsakh to Azerbaijan as there is a military conflict and I have to return to Armenia.
I was fine with that and happily continued my journey. Unfortunately, at the Russian border check point I was denied entry. I had all the necessary paperwork, the visa and the registration card. I handed them over to the soldiers, and again I was asked to wait. After another phone call one of the border guards came back and told me that the Republic of Artsakh is closed for tourism at the moment. I’m not sure if this is due to Covid or the rising tensions in the region.
Well, all I could do is head back towards Georgia, and hope to get into Azerbaijan from there.