Armenia and Azerbaijan declare steadfast ceasefire after bloody clashes

Baku – AFP

Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan have announced that the ceasefire reached under the auspices of Russia is still in place on Wednesday, a day after bloody clashes between the two countries raised fears of an escalation in the disputed Nagorno region. Karabakh.
Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on Tuesday killed several soldiers in the worst clashes between the two sides since last year’s war over Karabakh.
The six-week war, which killed more than 6,500 people, ended in November with a Russia-brokered deal that saw Armenia make major concessions in territory it had controlled for decades.
The fighting ended Tuesday evening after the mediation of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

calls for restraint

On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of “targeting the sovereignty and independence of Armenia”. Baku said Yerevan was responsible for a “large-scale military provocation”. Armenia has asked its Russian ally for military support under the Collective Security Treaty Organization agreement, which obliges Moscow to protect it in the event of an external invasion.
“Due to the attack on Armenia’s sovereign territory, we are going to Russia to ask it to protect Armenia’s territorial integrity,” Armenian Security Council Secretary General Armen Grigoryan said on Tuesday.
On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation with Pashinyan by phone and they agreed to “continue contacts” on the matter. Before declaring a ceasefire, the European Union and the United Nations urged both sides to cease hostilities.
European Council President Charles Michel called for a “complete ceasefire”, while the United Nations urged Baku and Yerevan to show “restraint”. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “grave concern” and called on all parties to respect the agreements reached in November 2020.

Frequent accidents

Since last year’s war, Armenia and Azerbaijan have repeatedly reported firefights. Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers, tensions between the two former Soviet republics remained high. Tensions have continued to rise in recent weeks between Armenia and Azerbaijan, who exchanged accusations of shooting at the border on Sunday. And Karabakh authorities said on Saturday that the only road connecting Armenia to the separatist enclave in the Lachin Corridor was closed for a short period due to an accident between the two sides.

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