On the night of September 13, clashes resumed on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Yerevan announced shelling of the southeastern border, Baku accused its neighbor of mining supply routes and shelling. Armenia applied to the CSTO
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- The Armenian Defense Ministry stated that after midnight on September 13, Azerbaijani troops began shelling the border settlements in the south-east of the republic— Sotka, Goris and Jermuk. Shooting is carried out from artillery guns, drones are used. The department claims that Baku is shelling not only military, but also civilian infrastructure, there are dead and wounded. Pashinyan later clarified that 49 people were killed as a result of the shelling, calling this number “inconclusive”.
- Azerbaijan claims that the Armenian military mined the supply routes of the Azerbaijani army at night, fired at several positions of the Azerbaijani army with various weapons, including mortars, which killed people and damaged military infrastructure. “As a result of the urgent measures taken by our units to immediately prevent these actions, a battle took place,” — reported in Baku. According to the ministry, we are talking about the Dashkesan, Kalbajar and Lachin directions.
- The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry called reports of an invasion of Armenia absurd, blaming the escalation on Yerevan and its “continued policy of military adventurism and revanchism.” “In response to the large-scale provocation of Armenia, the Azerbaijani army is implementing local countermeasures and neutralizing firing points,” — emphasized in the ministry. Later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic also issued a statement in which it reported on military casualties and damage to infrastructure.
As of 4:00 Moscow time, the situation on the border of the two countries remained tense, the intensity of the exchange of fire did not decrease, said the press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry Aram Torosyan. According to him, the Azerbaijani army is advancing, including using large-caliber weapons and anti-aircraft missile systems.
- By 7:00 Moscow time, the situation on the border had not changed, the Armenian Defense Ministry reported. “The enemy continues to use artillery, mortars, ATS and large-caliber weapons in the directions of Vardenis, Sotk, Artanish, Ishkhanasar, Goris and Kapan, hitting both military and civilian infrastructure,” & mdash; The ministry said.
- Trend.az, an Azerbaijani agency, reported citing sources that the parties agreed on a ceasefire from 8:00 Moscow time. Baku claims that the regime was immediately violated by Yerevan, but nevertheless it was established by 8:15 Moscow time. Armenia has not yet confirmed this information.
At 11 a.m. Moscow time, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement stating that the parties to the conflict had agreed to a ceasefire from 9:00 Moscow time on September 13 with “Russian mediation”. “We proceed from the premise that all disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be resolved exclusively through political and diplomatic means, and in terms of border issues,— within the framework of the work of the bilateral Commission on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border with the advisory assistance of Russia”, — according to a statement from the foreign ministry. The Foreign Ministry also stressed that it is “in close contact” with with Baku and Yerevan.
How the settlement talks are progressing
- At around 2:00 am, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which he called Baku's actions unacceptable. Pashinyan's press service noted that the leaders agreed to maintain operational contact.
- Pashinyan also discussed the situation with French President Emmanuel Macron, who stressed the need to achieve de-escalation.
- The Security Council of Armenia decided to officially turn to Russia for help in connection with the aggravation on the border with Azerbaijan and to use the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, turn to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the UN Security Council.
- After negotiations with Putin and Macron, Pashinyan also held telephone conversations with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, to whom he told about the appeal to Russia, the CSTO and the UN Security Council, and also expressed hope for an “adequate response” the world community. Blinken, in turn, expressed deep concern about the situation and said that the United States is ready to make efforts to stabilize the situation, the press service of the Armenian Prime Minister reported. Pashinyan also called the President of the European Council Charles Michel, who also expressed his readiness to help Armenia. Pashinyan also discussed the situation on the border with Azerbaijan with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who noted that the country is closely following developments, and conflicts should be resolved peacefully.
- On the morning of September 13, the defense ministers of Armenia and Russia held telephone conversations Suren Papikyan and Sergey Shoigu, as well as the heads of the ministries of foreign affairs of both countries Ararat Mirzoyan and Sergey Lavrov. The parties agreed to take joint steps to resolve the situation.
- Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov called his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. “Armenia must finally give up provocations”, — wrote after the talks Cavusoglu on Twitter. Yerevan, in his words, “should focus on peace negotiations and cooperation within the framework of the agreements reached with Azerbaijan.”
What preceded the current escalation
In November 2020, after a two-month armed confrontation, Armenia and Azerbaijan concluded a truce mediated by Russia. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in the region. As a result of the hostilities, Azerbaijan established control over the cities of Shushi and Hadrut, as well as over seven regions adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Nagorno-Karabakh— this is a historical region, the population of most of which is predominantly Armenian. The region declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 and called itself the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
From 1992 to 1994, Azerbaijan tried to take control of the self-proclaimed republic, these were full-scale military operations, Baku and Yerevan used heavy equipment and aircraft. Armenian formations took control of several regions of Azerbaijan, which before the start of the conflict were not part of the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomy: Kelbajar, Lachin, Kubatli, Jabrayil and Zangelan regions in their entirety, Agdam and Fuzuli regions partially. About 15% of Nagorno-Karabakh remained under Baku's control. In 1994, the countries agreed to a ceasefire, and the conflict was frozen.
Azerbaijan does not recognize the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and refuses to include its representatives in the negotiations on the settlement of the conflict.
- In 2022, Yerevan and Baku intensified negotiations on the settlement of the conflict. The parties met several times in Brussels, the EU is mediating the settlement. At such a meeting in May, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to start the work of a commission on the issue of border demarcation.
- Despite this, clashes between the Armenian and Azerbaijani military regularly take place in the region. The previous aggravation happened in early August, when the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Baku violated the ceasefire in Karabakh on August 3 and 4. The military department of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic announced a partial mobilization.
- The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, in turn, reported that “members of illegal Armenian armed groups” from the territory where the Russian military is stationed, they fired at the positions of the Azerbaijani army in the direction of the Lachin region. The department demanded the delimitation (mapping) of the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh and the withdrawal of the Armenian military from the territory where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed. Azerbaijan also carried out the “Retribution” operation, taking control of several “important dominant heights”, and struck at the military unit. Yerevan denies the presence of its military on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan flew to Russia in early September to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Speaking there, he pointed out that the risk of an aggravation of the conflict in the South Caucasus has grown, as the attention of the international community is focused on the situation around Ukraine. Also, according to him, “there are forces” that “spend a lot of energy on presenting Armenia in Moscow as a country with a pro-Western government, and in Europe— with the pro-Russian government. However, according to him, relations between Armenia and Russia “as they were, and remain strategically allied with Russia.” «Russia— main security factor of Armenia»,— Pashinyan stressed. According to him, Yerevan is not afraid of secondary sanctions because of this alliance with Russia.
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