Armenia has called on the international community to help stop Azerbaijan’s “aggressive actions” after a flare-up in violence in which the two sides accused each other of violating a cease-fire in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia “calls on the international community to take measures to stop the aggressive actions and attitude of Azerbaijan and to activate the necessary mechanisms to do so,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on August 3.
The Russian Defense Ministry also issued a statement in response to the fresh violence in the region, while the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry demanded the disarmament of what it called “illegal Armenian formations” around Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Russian Defense Ministry statement, which was quoted by Interfax, said that Azerbaijan violated the cease-fire and its peacekeeping contingent “is taking measures to stabilize the situation together with representatives of the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides.”
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov had a telephone call with Toivo Klaar, the special representative of the European Union for the South Caucasus.
“It was emphasized that the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan implemented adequate response measures to military provocations in their sovereign territories,” the ministry said.
According to the statement, Bayramov said that the provocations of the Armenian side undermine mediation efforts.
Both sides claimed casualties after the hostilities broke out.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on August 3 that Armenian troops opened fire on Azerbaijani Army positions in the district of Lacin, which has been under the control of Russian peacekeepers since November 2020, killing an Azerbaijani conscript Anar Kazimov.
De facto ethnic Armenian military authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh, in turn, accused Azerbaijan of a major cease-fire violation with the use of grenade launchers and drones, claiming that two ethnic-Armenian soldiers were killed, and 14 others wounded in separate attacks.
The breakaway region’s separatist leader, Arayik Haratiunian, signed a decree on partial mobilization.
Russia accused Azerbaijan of breaking the cease-fire.
The developments prompted EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, his spokesman said.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defense Army said later on August 3 that the situation was “relatively stable” as of 6 p.m. local time after working with Russian peacekeepers, who have been stationed in the region since the 2020 cease-fire following a deadly six-week war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said the region’s ethnic Armenian forces had tried to seize a hill on a mountain range overlooking Lacin and Kalbacar to establish a new position.
It said Azerbaijani forces conducted a “revenge” operation and took back the positions along with others, destroying Armenian armed elements in the process.
It also issued videos showing what appear to be military vehicles catching fire after being hit by air strikes.
Armenia lost control over parts of the breakaway region and seven adjacent districts as part of the Russian-brokered cease-fire. An estimated 2,000 Russian troops have been deployed to monitor the situation.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under ethnic Armenian control for nearly three decades, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.