Rmenia claimed that Azerbaijan had attacked its territory while U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken appealed to an end to the fighting which could undermine a Russia-brokered cease fire.
“The United States is deeply concerned about reports of attacks along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, including reported strikes against settlements and civilian infrastructure inside Armenia,” Blinken said in a statement posted Monday on the State Department’s website. “We urge an end to any military hostilities immediately.”
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said Azerbaijani forces started firing on its positions early Tuesday. Azerbaijani forces were shelling the towns of Goris and Kapan in southern Armenia, as well as Jermuk. It also said that unmanned drones were being used.
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Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry denied starting the attacks and said its forces were carrying out “local counter-measures in retaliation for large scale Armenian provocation.” It said there had been no incursion into Armenian territory.
This latest outbreak of tensions is between neighboring Caucasus state since hundreds were killed during a 44-day conflict over Nagorno Karabakh. The war was stopped in November 2020 by Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
The plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok (Russia) is attended by Nikol Pashinyan, Armenian Prime Minister.
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Blinken was contacted by Nikol Pashinyan (Armenia’s Prime Minister) about fighting near the Armenian border. According to his office, Pashinyan had also spoken with Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Russia, France and the U.S. are all members of what is known as the Minsk Group of mediators. They have tried for many decades to find a resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict that flared after the fall of Soviet Union.
Pashinyan held a meeting of Armenia’s security council which decided to appeal to Russia for assistance under a 1997 mutual-defense treaty. Moscow did not immediately respond.
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Russia owns an Armenian military base and sent 2,00 peacekeeping soldiers to Nagorno Karabakh under the deal to halt war in 2020.
In August, Azerbaijan’s army regained the town of Lachin, which sits along a road linking Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, for the first time in 30 years as part of the cease-fire deal. Azerbaijan gained control over a portion of Nagorno Karabakh, and seven other districts were liberated from Armenian forces since the late 1990s.
Azerbaijani and Armenia are still at odds despite the cease-fire. The fighting continues despite the fact that the sides held negotiations to determine their shared border and to open transport routes.
Pashinyan met with Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijani Azerbaijani on August 31st in Brussels to review progress towards a peaceful settlement.
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