Armenia accuses Azerbaijani army of “infiltrating” its territory

Tensions remain high between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The acting Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pachinian, accused, Thursday, May 13, the Azerbaijani army of having violated the Armenian border and of seeking to conquer new territories.

“It’s a subversive infiltration”, said Mr. Pachinian at an extraordinary meeting of his security council, according to statements quoted in an official statement. At this meeting, he claimed that Azerbaijani troops had advanced three kilometers inside the Armenian borders to the south and that they wanted “Make the siege” of Lake Sev, shared between the two countries.

Denouncing a “Encroachment” on the territory of Armenia, Mr. Pachinian said that the Armenian army had reacted with “Appropriate tactical maneuvers”. According to him, these tensions must nevertheless be resolved through diplomatic channels.

Baku rejected these accusations. “The border guards take positions which belong to Azerbaijan in the districts of Lachine and Kelbadjar”The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reacted in a statement late Thursday. Armenia’s reaction, “Who makes provocative announcements, is mind-boggling”, underlines the ministry, adding that Baku “Is committed to easing tensions in the region and calls for measures in this direction”.

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Armenian defeat in 2020

Azerbaijan and Armenia clashed in the fall of 2020 for control of the independence region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a conflict that resulted in more than 6,000 deaths and a defeat in Yerevan, which had to hand over important territories to Baku. In power since 2018, Nikol Pachinian has since been under pressure from the opposition who accuses him of treason.

Despite a ceasefire signed under the aegis of Moscow and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers, tensions persist in the region. Last month, the two countries accused each other of opening fire in Nagorno-Karabakh.

A region with an Armenian majority, Nagorno-Karabakh had seceded from Azerbaijan when the USSR broke up, leading to a first war that left 30,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees.

The United States announced Thursday to follow ” from close “ this “Renewed tensions” border crossing. “We are informed that the two parties communicate and urge restraint to promote a peaceful de-escalation of the situation”, at tweeted US diplomacy spokesman Ned Price.

Diplomatic solution

For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on the phone with Mr. Pachinian, according to his services Thursday evening. “The President of the Republic recalled France’s attachment to the territorial integrity of Armenia and noted the need for an immediate withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenian territory”, said the French presidency in a press release.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by telephone with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Djeyhoun Baïramov, from “The deterioration of the situation” on the border between Baku and Yerevan. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two diplomats underlined the “Need for strict respect for the cease-fire” and resolution of incidents through diplomatic channels.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters