Russia called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to end hostilities and respect the ceasefire agreement. Moscow also expressed its “extreme concern” at the clashes between the two countries. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously called for an end to the conflict.
The statement by Russian diplomacy indicated that Moscow acted as an intermediary in negotiating a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan and expects both sides to fulfill the terms of the agreement. “We express our extreme concern about the deterioration of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russia.
“We call on the parties to refrain from further escalating the situation, to exercise restraint and strictly adhere to the ceasefire agreement,” he added. Earlier, the media in Azerbaijan, quoted by the Reuters agency, reported that the agreement was severed several minutes after its entry into force.
Defense ministers of Russia and Armenia spoke on Tuesday morning about measures aimed at stabilizing the situation at the border. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s head of diplomacy, Jeyhun Bayramov, had a conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan he also talked about the crisis with the president of the European Council Charles Michel.
The US Secretary of State previously commented on the new version of the conflict in the South Caucasus Antony Blinken. – As we made it clear long ago, there can be no question of a military solution to the conflict – he said. “We are calling for an immediate end to all military operations,” he added.
The dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting for decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, which de jure lies within the borders of Azerbaijan, but is de facto an independent state entity, although not recognized by any other country, even by Armenia, despite the fact that ethnic Armenians control it. The bloodiest clashes between the Armenians and the Azeris over Nagorno-Karabakh took place in 1988-1994.
The last escalation of the conflict took place in 2020; more than 6,000 people died then. After six weeks of fighting, a peace agreement was negotiated – with Russia’s participation – that allowed Azerbaijan to regain control of large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh that were controlled by Armenia-backed separatists.
Moscow then deployed around 2,000 troops in the region, whom it calls peacekeeping forces. Nagorno-Karabakh is a de facto independent state. The republic enjoys the sympathy of Armenia, which in turn is supported by Russia.
Main photo source: Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense