Russian MOD says Azerbaijani forces broke ceasefire for 2nd time in a week

Azerbaijani forces crossed the ceasefire line in Nagorno-Karabakh before returning to their positions after talks with peacekeeping.

 An Azeri soldier is seen at fighting positions near divided Taghavard village in Nagorno-Karabakh region (photo credit: REUTERS)
An Azeri soldier is seen at fighting positions near divided Taghavard village in Nagorno-Karabakh region
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia was violated for the second time in a week on Friday, by Azerbaijani forces who crossed the ceasefire line near Seysulan in the Martakert region of the de-facto Artsakh Republic, the Russian Defense Ministry announced.

The Russian peacekeeping contingent, in cooperation with representatives of Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, took measures to resolve the incident. According to the Republic of Artsakh's NKR InfoCenter, the Azerbaijani forces returned to their starting positions after negotiations with the peacekeeping forces.

The NKR InfoCenter claimed that the Azerbaijani forces were attempting to improve their positions by advancing troops.

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.

On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the ceasefire was violated by Azerbaijani forces who shot a member of the armed forces of the de-facto Artsakh Republic. 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.

 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)

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

In March, Azerbaijani forces crossed the line of contact near the village of Parukh in the 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.

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 Thursday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed the ongoing tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, saying "We’ve had nearly 1000 deaths during the so-called peacetime, that’s not peace," according to Armenpress.

"The people of Karabakh must live in Karabakh, the people of Karabakh must have rights, freedoms and status in Karabakh. The people of Karabakh must be Karabakhi, Artsakhi and Armenian in Karabakh," added 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.