Armenia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday morning that Azerbaijani armed forces fired at Armenian military positions along the eastern border overnight. It reported no casualties and said that the situation as of 10:00 am was “relatively stable.”
Azerbaijan’s military authorities, meanwhile, accused Armenia’s armed forces of firing at Azerbaijani positions along its western border.
It also claimed that “illegal Armenian armed formation” fired at Azerbaijani military positions in the eastern part of the Karabakh region.
Baku did not report any casualties among its military personnel either.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian defense army denied the accusations.
Some 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in the mainly Armenian-populated region after a Moscow-brokered ceasefire stopped a six-week war in November 2020.
Azerbaijan managed to take control over parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts in the course of the hostilities that claimed the lives of thousands of people on both sides.
Davit Babayan, Nagorno-Karabakh’s de facto foreign minister, described Baku’s latest accusations as a “provocation.”
“We should always be ready for provocations, because, of course, they would do anything. They hate us. What should we do? It’s informational terror,” Babayan said.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev again accused Armenia of failing to live up to its commitments under the 2020 ceasefire agreement as he spoke to army officers at an event in the Azeri-controlled Karabakh town of Susa, known as Shushi in Armenian, on November 8, a day that Azerbaijan calls Victory Day to mark the end of fighting in 2020.
He, in particular, charged that Armenia has not withdrawn its troops from the Karabakh region.
Armenia insists that it has no military presence in Karabakh territory, and that the terms of the 2020 cease-fire did not require any disarmament among the local ethnic Armenian militia known as the defense army.
Aliyev also warned that Azerbaijan will take “the necessary steps” unless Yerevan fulfills its obligations. In his remarks he again demanded that Armenia provide a land corridor to Baku that would connect mainland Azerbaijan with its western exclave of Nakhichevan. Armenia says it is ready to unblock regional transport links, but insists on maintaining sovereignty over routes passing through its territory.
Aliyev also mentioned the latest deadly fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in mid-September as a result of which, he said, Azerbaijani armed forces took control of the main strategic heights overlooking Armenian military positions. He also said that Azerbaijani forces now can visually observe the towns of Kapan and Goris in Armenia’s southern Syunik region as well as Lake Sevan in Armenia’s eastern Gegharkunik province.
Speaking about Karabakh, the Azerbaijani leader stressed that Russian peacekeepers were deployed in the region temporarily and that the Armenian side would “face a new tragedy if it relies on someone.”
Babayan condemned Aliyev’s statements. “This is nothing but a call for a genocidal policy, a determination to continue such a policy, to achieve their goals, so to speak, to carry out another genocide of the Armenian people,” he charged.