Armenia appeals to Russia to protect its territorial integrity, stated Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigorian on Armenian Public Television on Tuesday amid reports of heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces along the border of the two South Caucasus countries.
Grigorian said that Azerbaijan’s armed forces launched military operations in the eastern direction of the Armenian border at 1 pm on November 16, trying to aggravate the situation along the entire border.
The official said that hostilities are ongoing at the moment as Armenia’s Ministry of Defense is “taking steps to stabilize the situation.”
“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,” Grigorian underscored.
The secretary of Armenia’s 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,” Grigorian concluded.
Later on Tuesday Russia’s TASS news agency quoted Armenian ambassador to Moscow Vardan Toghanian as saying that Moscow and Yerevan are currently conducting consultations via military and diplomatic channels over the escalation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Meanwhile, Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that under the UN Charter, the republic has the right to repel the use of force against its territorial integrity and sovereignty ‘by all available means.’
“We call on the international community and our international partners – Russia, the CSTO, the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group and the co-chairing countries – to respond clearly to these actions [of Azerbaijan] that undermine regional peace and security, and to take effective steps towards their prevention and the unconditional and complete withdrawal of Azerbaijani armed forces from the territory Republic of Armenia,” the ministry said in a statement.
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.
After days of reported incidents along their border intensive fighting erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan today, with both sides accusing each other of provocations.
Reports from both sides suggest the application of armored vehicles, artillery, mortars, and other weapons in the current fighting.
So far Baku has reported about two wounded Azerbaijani soldiers. It has also said that its forces have taken several Armenian soldiers prisoners during the fighting. Yerevan has confirmed that four Armenian soldiers were wounded during border fighting in the southern Armenian province of Syunik.
Yerevan has confirmed that 12 Armenian soldiers have been captured by the Azerbaijani military.
The Armenian Defense Ministry said the situation on the country’s eastern border with Azerbaijan remained “extremely tense” as of 2:30 pm.
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.”