- A spokesman for the Armenian government said that nothing had happened in the border strip on Friday evening.
- The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, however, announced the continuation of tensions.
- Moscow has called for an immediate ceasefire, expressing deep concern over the armed conflict.
The new conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has escalated to the point of threatening the destruction of strategic structures, and the targeting of power plants on both sides. This time, the clashes are taking place in the mountainous region of Tavush, which is 300 km away from the area of traditional dispute.
A spokesman for the Armenian government said that nothing had happened in the border strip on Friday evening, except for a few scattered shootings, and the situation was calm. The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, however, announced the continuation of tensions. Each accuses the other of firing artillery at border villages.
Moscow has called for an immediate ceasefire, expressing deep concern over the armed conflict. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has offered to mediate. Russia has played a similar role in previous conflicts between the two countries.
In recent days, there have been several border clashes between the two countries’ militias, which, according to official reports, have left at least 17 dead. The new tension is the heaviest confrontation between the two neighbors since 2016.
A few days ago, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev dismissed the country’s foreign minister for failing to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and did not rule out a new military confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has been going on for three decades. The region, which is predominantly Armenian, is part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. However, Armenian-leaning insurgents took control of it in the late 1980s.
Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence in 1991, but is not recognized as an independent state in international forums. In 2007, a resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly recognizing Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over the Tagorno region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Karabakh war, which lasted from 1988 to 1994, killed more than 35,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. In the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, Turkey severed ties with Armenia. While the political relations between Russia and Armenia are very cordial, Turkey is an important ally of Azerbaijan.
“The provocation committed in the Tovuz region is the dirty acts of Armenia against Azerbaijan.” This was stated at a press conference by the Assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration, Hikmet Hajiyev.
Hikmet Hajiyev emphasized that the relevant international organizations were informed about this. He said that the UN, Non-Aligned Movement, OSCE, and other international structures have been informed. When the Armenia military begins to target civilians. An elderly citizen of Azerbaijan was killed. These facts were reported to the international community.
The Assistant to the President noted that the OSCE Minsk Group should express a concrete attitude to the act of military aggression of Armenia. Unfortunately, we get standard answers again. The Minsk Group should condemn the position of Armenia.
Stressing that Armenia is trying to throw responsibility for this incident onto Azerbaijan, the aide to the President said:
“However, as a result of the timely steps taken by Mr. President, these intentions of Armenia were exposed. Armenians hide their losses. These actions are also monitored by the international community. The actions of the Armenians are a gross violation of international legal documents.”