Monday, September 26, 2022
HomeWorld NewsRUSSIA NewsArmenia Seeks Distracted Russia’s Aid in Renewed Azerbaijan Clashes

Armenia Seeks Distracted Russia’s Aid in Renewed Azerbaijan Clashes


Armenia Seeks Distracted Russia’s Aid in Renewed Azerbaijan Clashes

Armenia said Tuesday it is seeking Russian military assistance amid deadly border clashes with Azerbaijan as Moscow’s forces are tied up in a costly six-month conflict of their own in Ukraine.

Armenia and Azerbaijan claimed unspecified casualties as they blamed each other for exchanges of fire around the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region that began at about midnight local time.

Yerevan later accused Baku of “trying to advance” inside Armenian territory.

“The enemy continues to use artillery, mortars, drones and large-caliber rifles in the directions of Vardenis, Sotk, Artanish, Ishkhanasar, Goris and Kapan, targeting both military and civilian infrastructures,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday. 

Armenia’s security council, led by the Caucasus republic’s prime minister and president, gathered to invoke a mutual assistance and cooperation treaty with Russia, which spells out joint defense and military assistance in case of aggression toward signatories, the Armenian government said in a statement.

“It was decided to officially appeal to the Russian Federation in order to use the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance,” the statement reads.

It adds that Armenia will also turn to the Moscow-led security bloc of six former Soviet republics, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the UN Security Council for assistance.

Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported early Tuesday that Armenia has already submitted the formal appeals.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken.

The flare-up between regional foes Armenia and Azerbaijan is the latest of a series of frequent reports of shootouts along their shared border since the end of the 2020 war between Yerevan and Baku over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian officials have linked clashes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pro-government Azeri media seeking to discredit the 2,000-member Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

The Ukraine war has fueled rumors that Russia was withdrawing at least part of its peacekeepers into Ukraine and contributed to an escalation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, where ceasefire violations are common.

Last week, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of killing one of its soldiers in a border shootout. In August, Azerbaijan said it had lost a soldier and the Karabakh army said two of its troops had been killed and more than a dozen injured.

The neighbors fought two wars — in the 1990s and in 2020 — over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Azerbaijan’s Armenian-populated enclave.

Six weeks of fighting in the fall of 2020 claimed more than 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

Under the deal, Armenia ceded swathes of territory it had controlled for decades and Moscow deployed about 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to oversee the fragile truce.

During EU-mediated talks in Brussels in May and April, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed to “advance discussions” on a future peace treaty.

Ethnic Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The ensuing conflict claimed around 30,000 lives.

AFP contributed reporting. 

. by [author_name]

- Advertisement -

Related stories

Latest stories


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here