The European Union (EU) today condemned the armed clashes between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in the Nagorno Karabagh region, which left five people dead yesterday and led to an exchange of accusations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“The EU deplores the outbreak of violence that took place yesterday on the Line of Contact in Karabakh, which resulted in at least five deaths,” EU diplomatic spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement reported by the European Commission.
In this regard, he called for an “investigation” into the circumstances surrounding the armed incident and urged all parties to “restrain and avoid further actions that could further undermine regional stability and threaten the peace process.”
Yesterday morning, the Azerbaijani military tried to stop the inspection of a vehicle coming from Armenia, which was supposedly transporting supplies, ammunition and troops to Nagorno Karabagh.
Authorities in the self-proclaimed Nagorno Karabakh state have acknowledged at least three dead officers and said they were fired upon by a “sabotage group of the Azerbaijani armed forces.”
In a statement, they added that the attacked vehicle was carrying personnel from the Immigration and Visa Department and was not carrying any ammunition.
“The Azeri side made false statements claiming to carry weapons” in the Nagorno Karabagh region, the authorities said.
For its part, the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan indicated that “due to the irritation caused by illegal formations of Armenians on March 5, two soldiers became martyrs.”
“The leadership of the Minister of Defense expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the martyrs,” he added.
Hours later, the Ministry stated that Armenian forces fired about 20 times between noon and early Monday morning against military positions in Dashkasan, Kalbajar and Gadabay regions.
The agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 was announced to gain control of Nagorno Karabagh, a territory with a majority Armenian population that has been the focus of conflict since Azerbaijan decided in 1988 to separate from the Soviet Union.
Hostilities between the two nations lasted for six weeks and left thousands dead.
They finally stopped when the two countries reached a breakthrough Russian agreement, allowing Russian peacekeepers to establish themselves in Nagorno-Karabakh for five years.
The EU is seeking to play a mediating role in order to reach an agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the border delimitation, which will calm the latent conflict in the Caucasus region.
To this end, he approved the deployment a few weeks ago of a political observation and surveillance operation in the border region, on the Armenian side, which involves the presence on the ground of hundreds of soldiers. (web)