In the worst fighting with Azerbaijan since their war two years ago, Armenia said Tuesday that nearly 50 of its soldiers had been killed. However, Russia claimed to have persuaded the longtime adversaries to quickly agree to a ceasefire.
Armenia made a plea for assistance to international leaders after several hours of severe border combat overnight, claiming Azerbaijani soldiers were attempting to invade its land.
The combat was at its bloodiest since the conclusion of the ex-Soviet republics’ conflict in 2020 over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area, which resulted in over 6,500 deaths on both sides.
Moscow, Yerevan’s closest friend, was preoccupied with its six-month invasion of Ukraine when it arrived, despite having sent hundreds of peacekeepers to the area after the conflict.
However, Russia said that it had been successful in stopping the fighting, with the Moscow Foreign Ministry reporting that a ceasefire had been reached as of 9:00 am Moscow time (0600 GMT).
The ministry issued a statement in which it stated that it was “very worried” about the recent escalation in violence and added, “We anticipate that an agreement made as a consequence of Russian mediation on a ceasefire… will be followed out in full.”
Tuesday morning, after speaking with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over the phone, Pashinyan demanded “an effective reply” to “Azerbaijan’s hostile conduct.”
Pashinyan told legislators, “At the present, we have 49 (troops) killed and regrettably, it’s not the final tally.
Call Moscow for assistance.
Although Azerbaijan claimed to have lost people in the conflict, it did not provide an exact death toll.
According to the Yerevan-based defence ministry, the fighting began early on Tuesday with artillery, mortars, and drones firing into Armenian land in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sotk, and Jermuk.
It said in a statement that “the enemy is trying to advance” (into Armenian land).
However, Azerbaijan said that Armenia had engaged in “large-scale subversive operations” close to the towns of Dashkesan, Kelbajar, and Lachin, and that its armed forces had retaliated with “limited and targeted steps, neutralising Armenian fire positions.”
The longtime political and military ally of Azerbaijan, Turkey, accused Armenia of starting the violence and urged Yerevan to engage in talks.
Following a phone chat with his Azerbaijani colleague, Jeyhun Bayramov, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted, “Armenia should quit its provocations and focus on peace negotiations and collaboration with Azerbaijan.”
Tuesday’s emergency meeting of the security council of the nation, presided over by Pashinyan, approved the formal request for Russian military assistance. Russia is required under a treaty to defend Armenia in the case of an invasion by a third party.
According to the Yerevan-based defence ministry, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Armenia’s Defence Minister Suren Papikyan “had a phone discussion to address Azerbaijan’s assault against Armenia’s sovereign land” and “decided to take appropriate actions to calm the situation.”
Armenia is a part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which is governed by Russia and comprises a number of Central Asian former Soviet countries.
Washington is also Concerned
Former Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US was “very worried” about the situation, including “reported attacks against communities and civilian infrastructure” in Armenia. The US had already urged for an end to the fighting.
Blinken issued a statement saying, “There can be no military solution to the situation, as we have long made clear. “We demand an immediate cessation of all military hostilities.”
Armenia charged Azerbaijan of murdering one of its troops in a border gunfight last week.
Azerbaijan reported losing a soldier in August, and the Karabakh army reported losing two soldiers and suffering more than a dozen injuries.
The Nagorno-Karabakh area, an Armenian-populated enclave in Azerbaijan, was the subject of two battles between the neighbours, one in the 1990s and the other in 2020.
The six weeks of severe combat in the fall of 2020 came to an end thanks to a truce mediated by Russia.
Under the terms of the agreement, Moscow sent approximately 2,000 Russian soldiers to supervise the tenuous ceasefire while Armenia gave up large portions of land it had controlled for years.
Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, and Pashinyan agreed to “advance negotiations” on a future peace treaty during meetings held in Brussels in May and April under the auspices of the EU.
When the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, ethnic Armenian rebels in Nagorno-Karabakh split away from Azerbaijan. In the subsequent fighting, almost 30,000 people died.