An Armenian soldier on the border with Azerbaijan. (Photo: Tom Videlo/OC Media)

Baku Attacks Border Again, Blasts US-EU-Armenia Talks

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YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Armenia accused Azerbaijan on April 6 of stepping up ceasefire violations along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border overnight following Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s talks with top US and European Union officials.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said Azerbaijani forces opened fire at its positions at multiple sections of the border. It reported an “active movement” of Azerbaijani military vehicles in one of those areas.

“It is noteworthy that during the night most of the gunshots fired by the Azerbaijani armed forces were non-targeted and sporadic,” the ministry said in a statement.

The statement suggested that they tried to provoke the Armenian side to take “countermeasures” that could be used for substantiating the “recent Azerbaijani disinformation” about Armenian truce violations. Armenian troops “did not take actions contributing to further escalation,” it said.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry condemned Azerbaijan’s “provocative actions.” It insisted that Armenia is “not interested in the escalation of the situation in the region.”

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said, meanwhile, that its border troops came under cross-border Armenian fire on Friday night. It did not specify those locations.

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Tension on the border began rising after Baku denounced US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for deciding to hold a trilateral meeting with Pashinyan in Brussels on Friday. It accused the Western powers of siding with Armenia. (See related story on this page.)

Both Blinken and von der Leyen telephoned Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ahead of the Brussels talks. Aliyev insisted on Friday that the talks are “directed against Azerbaijan.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Friday denounced the United States and the European Union for holding high-level trilateral negotiations with Armenia, saying that they are “directed against Azerbaijan.”

The Defense Ministry in Yerevan on April 5 described as “disinformation” Baku’s claims that the Armenian army again violated the ceasefire. It said Azerbaijani forces themselves opened fire at Armenian positions at two border sections. Armenian officials and pundits have suggested that the Azerbaijani side is heightening tensions on the border in response to the Brussels talks.

According to the US State Department, Blinken also told Aliyev on April 4 that “there is no justification for increased tension on the border” and warned against “aggressive actions and rhetoric from any side.”

 

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