Azerbaijan alerted Russian peacekeepers minutes before hostilities, claims Moscow
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova refuted media claims that Azerbaijan had informed Russian peacekeepers about their "anti-terrorist operation" in Nagorno-Karabakh. Zakharova clarified on her Telegram channel that the Russian contingent was informed merely minutes before the onset of hostilities.
Earlier, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry had declared the commencement of "local anti-terrorist operations" in Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku's objectives, as stated, involve neutralizing Armenian armed formations, their entrenched positions, and other strategic military assets.
According to the TASS News Agency, Zakharova expressed that Russia maintains open communication regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, notably with Azerbaijan. Moscow is slated to release an official statement based on these discussions. Given the sudden escalation in the region, Zakharova emphasized Russia's urge for the conflict parties to prioritize diplomacy and cease hostilities.
Additionally, Zakharova addressed concerns surrounding Russia-Armenia relations. She voiced Moscow's discontent with Yerevan's recent actions, particularly its engagement with what she described as the "anti-Russian Kyiv regime" and joint exercises with the US. Commenting on Armenia's decision to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Zakharova said, "Washington has declared that this will have implications." She also urged Armenia to recognize the potential risks of aligning with Western interests perceived as hostile to Russia, concluding with a hope that the Armenian government makes decisions favorable for its nation and the wider region.