Russian peacekeepers earlier this year

Armenia Confirms Casualties, Loss of Military Posts in Clashes with Azerbaijan; Ceasefire Reached

491
0

YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Russian mediation led to a ceasefire starting at 18:30 Yerevan time on Tuesday, November 16 after Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia. Armenia has confirmed casualties — both killed and wounded soldiers — as a result of border clashes with Azerbaijan, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday, November 16.

In a statement the ministry said that information about casualties was still being specified. It added that Armenian armed forces also lost two military posts as a result of fighting along the border.

“As of 4 p.m., the situation on the eastern border of Armenia continues to remain extremely tense,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said.

Earlier, military authorities in Yerevan had confirmed that four Armenian soldiers were wounded in clashes with Azerbaijani armed forces.

Baku has so far reported about two wounded Azerbaijani soldiers.

After days of reported incidents along their volatile border, intense fighting erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 16, with both sides accusing each other of provoking and starting the conflict.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

Reports from both sides suggest the application of armored vehicles, artillery, mortars, and other weapons in the ongoing battles.

Armenia, which is a military and political ally of Russia, has appealed to Moscow to protect its territorial integrity in the face of Azerbaijan’s aggression, Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan told Today Public Television earlier on Tuesday.

“Since the attack is against the sovereign territory of Armenia, we appeal to the Russian Federation to protect the territorial integrity of Armenia within the framework of the 1997 agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation and within the framework of the logic of fulfilling mutual obligations under the agreement, “Grigoryan underscored.

The secretary of Armenia Security Council said that his oral application would also be followed with an application in writing.

“Armenia expects Russia to provide assistance and expects that Armenia will have the opportunity to restore its territorial integrity,” Grigoryan concluded.

Later on Tuesday TASS news agency quoted Armenian ambassador to Moscow Vardan Toghanyan as saying that Moscow and Yerevan are currently conducting consultations via military and diplomatic channels over the escalation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement, stressing that under the UN Charter, the republic has the right to repel aggression against its territorial integrity and sovereignty “by all available means.”

“We call on the international community and our international partners — Russia, CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization], OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship and Co-Chair countries — to express a clear and targeted response to these actions of the Azerbaijani side, which undermine regional peace and security, and undertake effective steps aimed at its prevention as well as unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the territory of the Republic of Armenia,” the ministry said.

The latest flare-up of tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan comes amid a call from international mediators to de-escalate the situation along the volatile border.

In a statement issued late on Monday, the American, Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group also urged the sides “to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and provocative actions, and implement in full the commitments they undertook under the November 9 statement and other jointly agreed [Nagorno-Karabakh] ceasefire arrangements.”

Armenia is a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, a defense pact of former Soviet republics also including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Armenia also has a bilateral military agreement with Russia and hosts a Russian military base in its territory.

Yerevan has confirmed that 12 Armenian soldiers have been captured by the Azerbaijani military.

The latest flare-up of tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan comes amid a call from international mediators to de-escalate the situation along the volatile border.

In a statement issued late on Monday, the American, Russian and French co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group also urged the sides “to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and provocative actions, and implement in full the commitments they undertook under the November 9 statement and other jointly agreed [Nagorno-Karabakh] ceasefire arrangements. “

In a telephone conversation with President of the European Council Charles Michel on Tuesday Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan claimed that “the Azerbaijani authorities are deliberately escalating the situation with the aim of aborting the implementation of trilateral agreements.”

As quoted by his press office, Pashinyan said that “the international community should not remain indifferent to Azerbaijan’s encroachments on the sovereign territory of Armenia.”

Michel said on Twitter that the situation in the region remained “challenging,” and that the “EU is committed to working with partners to overcome tensions for a prosperous and stable South Caucasus.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, who is the current OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, expressed her full support for the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, who issued a statement on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border tensions and the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh earlier. this week.

 

“I share the deep concern of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs regarding reported incidents in the region, including those along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. I express my full support for their efforts and call on the sides to de-escalate immediately and take steps to resolve the outstanding issues, “Linde wrote on Twitter.

In an interview with RFE / RL’s Armenian Service on Tuesday senior member of Armenia’s ruling Civil Contract party Eduard Aghajanyan claimed that the current border escalation is a response by Azerbaijan to the failure of its policy to force Armenia to provide the corridor.

“The Republic of Armenia will remain sovereign and there will be no [exterritorial] corridor through its sovereign territory,” Aghajanyan underscored. ”The [sovereign] status of the Republic of Armenia that was formed in 1991 is not subject to negotiation.”

Aghajanyan also told RFE/RL that according to preliminary estimates, 15 Armenian soldiers may have been killed during the fighting.

Seeking Pashinyan’s Resignation

The Hayastan Alliance, which has the second largest faction in Armenia’s National Assembly, said in a statement issued late on Tuesday asked that Pashinyan step down, adding that the formation of a new government may be a way of resolving the current situation.

The opposition bloc led by former President Robert Kocharyan put direct blame on Azerbaijan for “launching a large-scale attack in the eastern direction of the border, violating international norms and committing new war crimes” and described it as an urgent need “to stop the advancement of the enemy and expel it from Armenia’s sovereign territory through the consolidation of all-national forces. “

It, however, criticized the Pashinyan government that “brings casualties, territorial losses, division, chaos.”

“A full solution to the situation requires the resignation of this government. “Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation should be followed by the consolidation of all capable forces, the formation of a new government, the provision of a policy for solving foreign and domestic problems,” the Hayastan Alliance said.

The Hayastan Alliance and the Pativ Unem [I Have Honor] opposition factions in the parliament also announced a boycott of the regular session of the legislature on November 16, accusing the pro-government majority of scuttling their attempt to discuss the situation at the border with Azerbaijan.

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: