Moscow accused Azerbaijan on Saturday (March 26) of violating the ceasefire with Armenia, signed after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, by deploying troops in the area controlled by Russian forces to promote peace. to enforce.
Incidents between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces are common, but this is the first time since the end of the conflict in November 2020 that Moscow has accused one of the sides of violating the ceasefire guaranteed by Vladimir Putin. This renewed tension comes in a tense context, as Russia has launched a large-scale offensive against Ukraine.
“Between March 24 and 25, the armed forces of Azerbaijan violated the trilateral agreement of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia (…) and entered the area under the responsibility of the Russian contingent of peacekeeping in Nagorno-Karabakh »denounced the Russian Defense Ministry in a press release.
In Baku, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense “regret” the Russian statement “which does not reflect the truth and takes only one position”† He assured that “Azerbaijan has not violated any clause” of the ceasefire agreement and also: “asked the Russian Ministry of Defense to ensure the complete withdrawal of Armenian troops and illegal armed units from this area internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan”†
According to Russia, Azerbaijani troops set up and run an observation post “four strikes with Bayraktar-like drones” on Karabakh troops near the town of Farukh. “Russian command of the peacekeeping contingent is taking steps to resolve the situation (…) a troop withdrawal call has been sent to the Azerbaijani side”the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Karabakh authorities said an Azerbaijani drone killed three people and injured 15. “Azerbaijani Armed Forces Are Still In Farukh Village”, the Ministry of Defense of Karabakh lamented. Russian diplomacy spoke to her “deep concern”†
Two soldiers killed on Friday
The November 9, 2020 agreement signed by Vladimir Putin and Armenian leaders Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani Ilham Aliev had ended a six-week violent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over control of Nagorno-Karabakh. , pro-Armenian separatist area. The Azerbaijani armed forces had made significant territorial gains by then.
On Friday, Karabakh authorities reported that two soldiers had been killed by Azerbaijani troops. The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced a “invasion” which took place on March 24 and featured “constant artillery fire”† He also accused his neighbor of robbing Karabakh of gas, which did not warm the population, and denounced a situation “On the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe”†
“We expect the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh to take clear steps to resolve the situation and prevent further combat casualties”added Armenian diplomacy.
The Kremlin, for its part, indicated on Saturday that MM. Pashinyan and Putin had discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh twice, the day before and the day before.
The mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, seceded from Azerbaijan at the fall of the USSR, sparking a first war in the 1990s that killed 30,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands of refugees.
In the autumn of 2020, a new conflict erupted, in which 6,500 people died in six weeks. It ended in crushing defeat for Armenia, which was forced to cede to Azerbaijan three regions that formed a glacis around Nagorno-Karabakh.