Russia has made fresh appeals to Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect a badly fought ceasefire in the broken South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with both sides blaming each other for fresh attacks on civilians.
The ceasefire was supposed to take effect last Saturday, but seems to have failed, with the Ministry of Defense in Nagorno-Karabakh – the area inside Azerbaijan but governed by ethnic Armenians – Azeri forces allege they carry out artillery and rocket attacks in many areas, and . Azeri S-4f fighter jets will have to be shot down, although Azerbaijan denies this.
Baku, in turn, accused Armenian forces of attacking the position of the Azeri army, saying both sides were participating and said artillery fires had broken out in many areas inside Azerbaijan, resulting in the death of a new civilian and several wounded, including Azeri journalists. Happens.
Both sides have refused to violate the ceasefire, though it is not clear. Azerbaijan said on Wednesday that it reserves the right to strike at any military installations targeting civilians and to repel any movement in its territory.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made a fresh telephone call to Azeri and Armenian defense ministers, urging the countries to “fully fulfill the commitments” made under the humanitarian ceasefire broken by Moscow.
There is an atmosphere of ceasefire despite repeated calls by world powers to stop the fighting that has killed more than 500 people in the decades-long conflict on September 27. International groups have warned of a humanitarian crisis, with people being forced out of homes and the growing Covid-19 epidemic.
The worst battle since the 1991-94 war on Nagorno-Karabakh was in which about 30,000 people were killed. Russia and Turkey are being watched abroad for fear of repression. Russia has a defense agreement with Armenia, and Turkey has an alliance with Azerbaijan.
In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nicole Pashinya accused Turkey of entering the South Caucasus region to further its expansionist ambitions.
Turkey has denied the allegations, saying the Armenian army must withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh to resolve the dispute.
The Minsk Group, founded in 1992 by the OSCE Security Watchdog to assist mediators in Nagorno-Karabakh, on Tuesday called on Armenian and Azeri leaders to implement a ceasefire to prevent “disastrous consequences for the region”.
The 11-member group is led by the US, Russia and France. Turkey is also a member but is not involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh talks, although it has said it wants to join them.
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said on Wednesday that Turkey should take part in peace talks and that the conflict would not be resolved without Ankara’s involvement.
In an interview with Turkish broadcaster Hebertik, Aliyev also said that Turkish F-16 jets were in Azerbaijan, but were not used in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces.
Despite Russia’s efforts to mediate, there are fears that the conflict could escalate if it escalates. Moscow has a military treaty that calls for help for Armenia should it threaten its sovereignty – although it has made it clear that it does not consider it part of its responsibility to save Nagorno-Karabakh.
Oil-rich Azerbaijan is considered better to fight the drawn-out conflict, which it could use to get relief from Armenia. But Yerevan can also raise the stakes by recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence and openly attacking Azerbaijan from its territory, including the high-precision Alexander surface-to-surface missile systems provided by Russia. Large-scale war comes from Azerbaijan to global markets and runs only 10 miles from the Armenian border, increasing international connectivity by increasing the risk of damage to oil and gas pipelines.
U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden expressed deep concern over the collapse of the ceasefire and accused the Trump administration of being “largely inactive and scattered.”
“The administration should be more involved, rather than delegating diplomacy to Moscow,” Biden said in a statement.
Officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said Tuesday that 532 servicemen had been killed in the fighting that erupted on September 27. They did not immediately update the death toll on Wednesday.
The latest death registration by Azerbaijan’s public prosecutor came 43 days after the start of the fighting, killing 43 Azeri citizens. Azerbaijan has not disclosed military casualties.
Agencies contributed to this report