YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — The secretary general of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on December 29 condemned as “provocative” an armed incident on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan which left three Armenian soldiers dead.
“We regard these actions in the territory of a CSTO member state as provocative, especially against the backdrop of the quite serious fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, involving heavy weaponry, in April this year,” Nikolay Bordyuzha said, blaming Baku for the incident.
The Armenian Defense Ministry said that the three soldiers were killed during an Azerbaijani incursion near Chinari, a village in Armenia’s northern Tavush province. The Azerbaijani military claimed the opposite, saying that an Armenian commando unit was ambushed by its forces while entering Azerbaijani territory.
In a written statement, Bordyuzha said that the CSTO Secretariat in Moscow reacted to news of the fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontier with “particular alarm.”
“Given the efforts made by both sides as well as the leaders of several states [after the April escalation,] it looked as though the process of the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem will move forward more actively,” he said. “However, reports coming from the region lately about regular ceasefire violations and especially yet another incident on December 29 … are a cause for serious concern.”
Armenia has repeatedly criticized other ex-Soviet states aligned in the CSTO for not blaming Azerbaijan for ceasefire violations in the conflict zone. Speaking at a CSTO summit in December 2015, President Serzh Sargsyan said they should “learn” from NATO member states’ unanimous support for Turkey shown after the downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border.