(Moscow) Russia, a mediator in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, accused Baku on Saturday of violating the ceasefire agreement that ended the 2020 war between these two countries by leaving his troops cross the demarcation line.
“On March 25, 2023 (Saturday), a unit of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces crossed the line of contact in the Shusha district, in violation” of the agreement reached in 2020, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
According to Moscow, Azerbaijani troops “occupied a height” and “started setting up a post”.
Russian peacekeepers there are “taking measures aimed at preventing an escalation of the crisis situation and avoiding mutual provocations by opposing parties”.
“The Azerbaijani side has been informed of the need to comply with the provisions (of the agreement), to take measures to stop the engineering works and to withdraw the armed forces to the positions they previously occupied,” he added. added the Russian ministry.
Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet republics in the Caucasus, clashed in a short war in 2020 for control of the enclave of Nagorny-Karabakh.
This conflict had resulted in an Armenian military rout and a ceasefire agreement sponsored by Russia, which deployed peacekeepers there.
Deadly clashes in Nagorny-Karabakh or on the border between the two countries, however, continue to break out periodically.
Armenia has also been warning for several weeks of a “humanitarian crisis” in Karabakh over an Azerbaijani blockade that has caused medicine and food shortages and power cuts.
Yerevan accuses Russian peacekeepers of not acting to end this blockade.
A mountainous region mainly populated by Armenians and having seceded from Azerbaijan at the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nagorny-Karabakh continues to poison relations between Yerevan and Baku.
The first conflict, in the early 1990s at the time of the dismantling of the USSR, which left 30,000 dead, ended in an Armenian victory with the support of Moscow.
But Azerbaijan took its revenge in the fall of 2020 in a second war, which left 6,500 dead and allowed it to retake many territories.