MOSCOW, (BM) – The military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh subsided the brief war between Armenia and Azerbaijan last year. However, there is a real danger that it will resume, this time with Russia’s participation.
Sources close to the Russian Federation’s Defense Ministry say Azerbaijani soldiers have fired on Russian border patrols in the Zangilan region on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. No casualties have been reported so far. Azerbaijan officially denies such an incident, but Russia has written it. Moreover, the Russian Ministry of Defense sources claim that the Russian commanders-in-chief in the region have explicitly banned a return fire to avoid casualties and a new conflict.
The incident came just a few after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev officially threatened and at the same time accused Russia of trying to launch a missile attack on the capital Baku with the Iskander-M ballistic missile system.
A press release issued by the Russian peacekeepers’ command in Nagorno-Karabakh read: “Units of the state border service located in the village of Seyidlyar of the Zangilan region of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, as well as the positions of the border service of the FSB of Russia, located in this area, were fired upon”
We remind you that since the end of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan at the end of last year, this incident, which happened a few hours ago, is the first serious one for the region and the conflict.
Azerbaijan and Armenia had conflicted for Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR.
During the armed conflict in 1992-1994, the Azerbaijani side lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven areas. Since 1992, negotiations were conducted within the OSCE Minsk Group framework on a peaceful conflict settlement. The group led by co-chairs – Russia, the USA, and France.
In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, through Russia’s mediation, signed the Bishkek Armistice Protocol. At the same time, military operations did not stop there, which periodically renewed. The most significant exacerbation of the conflict was the four-day war of 2016. Then hundreds of soldiers on both sides became victims.
During a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for rhetoric that would go against the fundamental principles endorsed by both sides and enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act when resolving the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh. Simultaneously, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that much more needs to be done to achieve a long-term political settlement.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, 2020, active clashes are taking place in the disputed territory. Martial law introduced in Azerbaijan and Armenia and both countries announced mobilization. Both sides reported killed and wounded, including civilians. In Baku, they told the control of several Karabakh villages and strategic heights. Yerevan also says about the shelling of the territory of Armenia. After six weeks of fighting, Baku gained a significant advantage and territorial gains. A trilateral peace agreement was signed on the night of November 9-10, 2020.
It led to a ceasefire and deployed Russian peacekeepers in the region to remain there for at least five years. Armenia undertook to transfer to Azerbaijan the occupied territories in Nagorno-Karabakh and three adjacent areas. The road connecting Armenia with the separatist region’s capital, Stepanakert, is protected by Russian troops.
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