Armenian PM calls Putin, complains about new conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh

YEREVAN, – Prime Minister Armenia Nikol Pashinyan call the president Russia Vladimir Putin on Friday (25/3/2022), to discuss what Armenia says is the worrying situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an area inhabited by ethnic Armenians claimed by Azerbaijan and is currently patrolled by Russian peacekeepers.

Reported from Russia TodayArmenian media said the two countries’ leaders had discussed reports of renewed tension in the contested area during the 44-day conflict in 2020, which only ended after mediation by Moscow.

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Armenia said Azeri soldiers had invaded the region from Thursday (24/3/2022), captured two villages and used drones to kill at least three soldiers of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR), identified by local authorities by name.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reportedly received a call from Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan on Thursday. He had also received a call from Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov on Friday.

However, Pashinyan’s appeal to Putin raised the issue from a purely military level.

Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of seizing two villages, Khramort and Parukh – which Azeri people call Farukh – located on the ceasefire line between Azerbaijan and the NKR established in 2020.

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Armenian media reported, the ensuing firefight, involving the Bayraktar TB-2 combat drone Turkeyresulting in more than a dozen people injured and three killed on the Armenian side, as well as unnamed Azeri casualties.

The Azerbaijani side has denied the accusations, saying that their troops are only continuing the process of clarifying their location and position without resorting to force.

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“(The claim that) UAVs (drones) were allegedly used and armed clashes took place on the territory of Azerbaijan where Russian peacekeepers were temporarily stationed, which led to the death of our soldiers, are lies and provocations,” Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense said in Baku.

Although recognized internationally as an Azerbaijani territory, Nagorno-Karabakh has been under the control of the ethnic Armenian majority since the 1990s, with the support of the Armenian state.

Azerbaijan moved to retake the territory in September 2020, with support from Turkey.

Moscow eventually brokered a ceasefire that saw Azerbaijan control more than half of the territory, with the remaining territory – including the only land route to Armenia – patrolled by Russian peacekeepers.

Also read: Clashes with Azerbaijani Troops, 3 Armenian Soldiers Killed

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