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Russia And Armenia Agree To Take “Joint Steps To Stabilise” Border

Story Highlights
  • The Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh has been the cause of two wars between the two countries.
  • The Armenian government said that Pashinyan was against the "provocative and aggressive actions" of the Azerbaijani military and asked for a "proper response" from the rest of the world.

Officials in Yerevan say that Armenia and Russia have agreed on steps they will take together to calm things down along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan after clashes that killed people overnight.

Suren Papikyan, the defence minister of Armenia, said that he and Sergei Shoigu, the defence minister of Russia, talked on Tuesday and “agreed to do what was needed to calm things down.”

Earlier, both Armenia and Azerbaijan reported new border fighting that killed at least one Azerbaijani soldier. This is the latest fight between the two countries, which went to war in 2020 over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Each side said that the fighting was caused by the other.

In a statement, Armenia’s defence ministry said that at 00:05 GMT on Tuesday, Azerbaijan started “intensive shelling” of Armenian military positions near the cities of Goris, Sok, and Jermuk. It said that Azerbaijani soldiers used drones and “artillery and large-calibre firearms.”

“Armenia’s armed forces have responded in a fair way,” it said.

But Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said that Armenia had done “large-scale subversive acts” near the border districts of Dashkesan, Kelbajar, and Lachin. It also said that its army positions “came under fire, including from trench mortars.”

“Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed,” it said, but it didn’t say how many.

Azerbaijani media say that the two countries agreed to stop fighting early on Monday, but the deal fell apart a few minutes later.

According to media reports and a source who asked not to be named, the truce started at 9 a.m. local time (0500 GMT), but it was broken soon after.

‘No military solution’

Russia is a key power broker in the area and Armenia’s ally through the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which is led by Russia.

The United States, meanwhile, said it was very worried about what was going on.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, “We have been clear for a long time that there is no military solution to the conflict.” “We want there to be no more fighting in the military right away.”

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister of Turkey, said that Armenia should stop making trouble and instead focus on making peace with Azerbaijan and working together.

Since the end of their war in 2020, there have been many reports of fighting along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In a border attack last week, Armenia said that Azerbaijan killed one of its soldiers.

In August, Azerbaijan said it had lost a soldier, and the Karabakh army said two of its soldiers had died and more than a dozen had been hurt.

The Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh has been the cause of two wars between the two countries.

In the late 1980s, when both sides were ruled by the Soviet Union, fighting started when Armenian forces took over large areas of land near Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory but had a large Armenian population. In the war that followed, about 30,000 people died.

Those areas were taken back by Azerbaijan during the 2020 fighting, which ended with a truce brokered by Russia and the return of thousands of people to their homes. During the six-week war, more than 6,500 people died.

Since then, the leaders of both countries have met several times to try to work out a peace treaty that will last.

During talks in May and April that were mediated by the EU in Brussels, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed to “move forward” with talks on a future peace treaty.

The Armenian government says that on Tuesday, Pashinyan spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, and EU President Charles Michel about the latest fights.

Michel said that the EU was “ready to make efforts to stop further escalation” and that “peace and stability in the region are the only options.”

The Armenian government said that Pashinyan was against the “provocative and aggressive actions” of the Azerbaijani military and asked for a “proper response” from the rest of the world.

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