Russian MOD: Ceasefire violated again by Azerbaijani forces

Russian peacekeepers managed to resolve the incident on Tuesday.

 An Azeri soldier and police officer talk as they stand guard at the Kalbajar district, Azerbaijan, December 21, 2020 (photo credit: AZIZ KARIMOV/REUTERS)
An Azeri soldier and police officer talk as they stand guard at the Kalbajar district, Azerbaijan, December 21, 2020
(photo credit: AZIZ KARIMOV/REUTERS)

The ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia was violated on Tuesday by Azerbaijani forces who shot a member of the armed forces of the de-facto Artsakh Republic, the Russian Defense Ministry announced.

The incident happened near Parukh, where Azerbaijani forces had crossed the line of contact last month, sparking a spike in tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian peacekeepers managed to resolve the incident on Tuesday.

The Republic of Artsakh is a de facto republic internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. In 2020, the area where the republic is situated was recaptured by Azerbaijan.

In March, Azerbaijani forces crossed the line of contact near the village of Parukh in the de facto Republic of Artsakh, entering the village of Khramort. A day later, an Azerbaijani Bayraktar TB2 drone carried out strikes against forces belonging to Artsakh, killing three Armenian soldiers.

 RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING troops patrol near the border with Armenia, following a deal to end the military conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, in 2020. (credit: REUTERS/FRANCESCO BREMBATI) RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING troops patrol near the border with Armenia, following a deal to end the military conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, in 2020. (credit: REUTERS/FRANCESCO BREMBATI)

The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement at the time saying that Azerbaijan had violated the ceasefire reached at the end of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war by crossing the line of contact, sparking outrage from Azerbaijani officials.

The Azerbaijani defense ministry condemned the statement at the time, saying it "does not reflect the truth" and that it was Armenia, not Azerbaijan, that was violating the ceasefire reached in 2020. The ministry added that the Russian defense ministry's statement "contradicts the essence of bilateral relations" and the Declaration on Allied Interaction Russia and Azerbaijan signed this February.

On April 6, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to hold peace talks to address tensions over the Nagorno-Karabakh area.

On Wednesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on Russian peacekeepers to get Azerbaijan to remove its forces from the peacekeeping forces area of responsibility. "This is an absolute necessity and a very serious trial for the Russian peacekeeping mission in Nagorno Karabakh," said Pashinyan.

In 2020, a slightly more than month-long war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and nearby areas, ending with a new line of contact drawn and Russian peacekeepers deployed along the line. Sporadic clashes have been reported along the line since the war.