Armenia to appeal to CSTO, UN after deadly clashes on the border with Azerbaijan

Armenia to appeal to CSTO, UN after deadly clashes on the border with Azerbaijan
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stepped up diplomatic efforts to invoke international agreements

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of the large-scale border clashes that erupted on Monday night, as Azerbaijan reported casualties and Armenia invoked a cooperation agreement with a Russia-led security block.

Armenia’s defense ministry said Azerbaijan launched “intensive shelling” against Armenian military positions in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sok, and Jermuk. Azerbaijani troops used drones, as well as “artillery and large-caliber firearms,” it said.

However, Azerbaijan’s defense ministry accused Armenia of “large-scale subversive acts” on the border, adding that there were losses among Azerbaijani troops as a result of Armenian fire, including from trench mortars.

The fighting marked the latest flare-up between the neighboring countries, who fought a war in 2020 over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Six weeks of fighting in the fall of 2020 claimed more than 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

The Ukraine war has fueled rumors that Russia was withdrawing at least part of its peacekeepers into Ukraine and contributed to an escalation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, where ceasefire violations are common.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has called Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the situation.

Political commentator Ian Bremmer said the timing of the escalation was not a coincidence as Russia, Armenia’s closest security partner, had “more than its share of troubles presently.” referring to the recent series of Russia’s defeats in the Ukraine War.

“As we have long made clear, there can be no military solution to the conflict,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “We urge an end to any military hostilities immediately.”

“Deeply concerned by reports of Azerbaijani attacks on Armenian territory. Shelling Armenian towns & innocent civilians is illegal & unacceptable. The world must stand up to authoritarian brutality. The US must end all security assistance to Azerbaijan now,” said the official Twitter account for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Senator Bob Menendez.

Armenia’s Security Council decided to officially appeal to the Russian Federation to implement the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, as well as to the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the UN Security Council, Armenian public radio reported

Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported early Tuesday that Armenia has already submitted the formal appeals.