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As war in Ukraine rages, Russia’s ally Armenia sees bloodshed on its own border


Because the conflict in Ukraine enters its second month, Russia’s ally Armenia worries a few new entrance erupting by itself border with rival Azerbaijan amid a brand new spherical unrest between neighbors within the South Caucasus.

Like Russia and Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan are two post-Soviet nations with a protracted historical past of lethal territorial disputes. Their most up-to-date conflict erupted in September 2020 as a bloody 44-day battle centered on the Nagorno-Karabakh area, the place ethnic Armenians three a long time in the past established a breakaway state referred to as the Republic of Artsakh on a territory internationally acknowledged as a part of Azerbaijan. .

The final all-out combating of hostilities within the century-long feud over this soil largely ended with an settlement that allowed Russian peacekeepers to enter the battlefield. however as Moscow focuses on what it sees as a “particular army operation” towards Ukraine, there are experiences of a brand new battle on Europe’s southern border with Asia.

“Azeri forces are attacking Armenian troopers in Artsakh proper now as I communicate,” stated Hayk Mamijanyan, a member of Armenia’s parliament and secretary of his “I Have the Honor” coalition. Newsweek.

He referred to as the current assaults a “clear violation” of the ceasefire settlement signed between the 2 sides on November 9, 2020 and, “though we’re probably not completely satisfied ‘with the deal to start with,’ even this treaty is now violated”. “

Mamijanyan claimed that Azerbaijan was utilizing the scenario in Ukraine as “leverage” to resume its offensive, “to take benefit” of Russia’s conflict with one other neighbor.

“I actually hope the world gained’t be silent this time,” Mamijanyan stated. “The world, many of the worldwide organizations remained silent in the course of the 44-day conflict, and I hope that, regardless of the ineffectiveness of the Armenian authorities, the worldwide organizations and the world will take note of the crimes that Azerbaijan is committing on this second. .”

Requested for feedback, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Overseas Affairs and its embassy in Washington didn’t instantly reply. Newsweek.

The nation initially performed down current experiences of clashes, which the self-declared Republic of Artsakh says have killed no less than two Armenian troopers thus far.

The Azerbaijani Protection Ministry stated in a press release on Thursday that “the scenario is artificially exaggerated by Armenian sources”, later acknowledged that some kind of confrontation had taken place after its Russian counterpart introduced that Azerbaijani forces had been entered the peacekeeping zone and that Russian Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke with Armenia’s protection chief, Suren Papikyan, and later with Azerbaijan’s Zakir Hasanov.

Following the most recent attraction, the Azerbaijani Protection Ministry stated on Saturday that “members of unlawful Armenian armed detachments tried to sabotage Azerbaijani military items” however had been then “pressured to retreat” following countermeasures. And the ministry stated Russia’s personal account of the occasions, which supported Armenia’s account, “doesn’t mirror the reality”.

“We remorse to tell you that the entire withdrawal of remnants of the Armenian military and unlawful Armenian armed detachments from the territory of Azerbaijan in accordance with Article 4 of this declaration has not but been carried out”, the Azerbaijani Protection Ministry stated.

“Subsequently,” the ministry stated, “it’s Armenia, not Azerbaijan, that’s violating the provisions of the declaration” reached as a part of the 12 months’s ceasefire settlement. final.

Armenian Protection Minister Suren Papikyan visits a army place close to the village of Nerkin Hand close to the border with Azerbaijan on March 18.
Armenian Ministry of Protection

However many Armenians concern that the most recent clashes are simply the beginning of one thing extra ominous, particularly because the eyes of the worldwide neighborhood are fastened on the explosive battle in Ukraine.

“After all, this coincidence with the Ukrainian disaster can’t be unintentional,” stated Kristine Vardanyan, additionally a deputy within the Armenian Nationwide Meeting and a member of her “Armenia” bloc. Newsweek.

She felt that with Russian troops mired in Ukraine, Azerbaijan was searching for to grab the chance to revive an effort “to expel the Armenians from Artsakh by conflict, to deprive the Armenians of the potential of residing of their homeland. “.

She referred to current experiences that ethnic Armenian residents of Nagorno-Karabakh have been lower off from public companies by Azerbaijan, along with extra forceful measures which have been taken.

“It’s not the one weapon used, terrorist tips are used every single day towards round 120,000 folks in Nagorno-Karabakh, they’re disadvantaged of gasoline, electrical energy and web,” Vardanyan stated. “Civilians are sometimes shot at, urging them to go away their houses, if not promising to grab them by drive.”

It additionally designates one other essential actor concerned within the battle. Whereas Armenia is allied with Russia beneath the Collective Safety Treaty Group (CSTO), Azerbaijan shares an in depth political, cultural and army relationship with Turkey and has said that Ankara “shares additionally full duty for what occurs”.

The identical Bayraktar TB2 drones utilized by Ukrainian forces to focus on Russian convoys had been beforehand utilized by Azerbaijan to remove Armenian positions to nice impact. This very weapon was reportedly concerned in an assault on Friday that killed two Armenian troopers.

Because the final hearth, Vardanyan stated that “the Armenian aspect has greater than 60 casualties and dozens injured”, marking “probably the most tense scenario after November 9, when Azerbaijan makes use of heavy artillery”.

Whereas Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow, Turkey’s position within the conflict in Ukraine represents one other supply of strained however advanced ties between Ankara and Moscow. Turkey itself is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Group (NATO), a US-led alliance of 30 states that’s deeply concerned within the Ukraine disaster, supplying arms to kyiv and main a worldwide sanctions marketing campaign towards Moscow in response to its assault.

US President Joe Biden concluded a four-day journey to Europe on Saturday that included conferences with different NATO leaders as a part of a bid to unify the alliance’s response to the battle and its aftermath. humanitarians.

And whereas the summit targeted on Ukraine, Vardanyan warned that the disaster there solely underscored how escalation between nations in every single place might result in disaster.

“Wars are disasters. They destroy states, typically complete nations, destabilize the area, the world generally,” Vardanyan stated. “Particularly within the situations of such shut ties, when there may be intensive communication, shut cooperation in several spheres, in any a part of the world, the disaster immediately impacts many individuals. We see the very best instance of this on this time in Ukraine”.

“The world wants stability and predictability,” she added. “There should even be stability in our area. However we should perceive that this stability and this peace should be based mostly on justice.”

The US has sought to play a balanced position within the precarious scenario between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Over the previous week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and State Division spokesman Ned Worth instructed reporters on Friday that the US had reiterated its place in follow-up conversations with officers on each side. in addition to.

The abstract of the U.S. place, based on Worth, was “referred to as on each side to train restraint and intensify diplomatic engagement to seek out complete options to all excellent points.”

“Armenia and Azerbaijan simply have to make use of direct communication channels to defuse instantly,” Worth stated.

Worth added that the US “stays deeply dedicated to working with the events to realize a long-term political settlement of the battle” as a member of the Group for Safety and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group ( OSCE), additionally co-chaired by France. and Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken twice with the Armenian Prime Minister in current days, and the Russian Overseas Ministry issued a press release on Saturday additionally calling for de-escalation.

“We urge the events to train restraint and guarantee strict adherence to current trilateral agreements reached on the highest stage,” the Russian Overseas Ministry stated.

And simply as Kyiv and Moscow have described their battle not simply as a territorial dispute however as one in every of civilizations, those that symbolize the Republic of Artsakh backed by Armenia see themselves as being on the entrance strains of a bigger battle. in historical past.

Each Russia and Ukraine have taken to portraying the opposite as fascist, with Putin going as far as to justify his conflict as a part of an effort to realize the “denazification” of Ukraine. The Russian chief accused Ukraine of focusing on ethnic Russians, notably within the Moscow-backed breakaway states of Donetsk and Luhansk, who took up arms towards kyiv after a 2014 rebellion that noticed a pro-Western authorities take energy in Ukraine.

In an identical vein, Artsakh Overseas Minister David Babayan stated Azerbaijan and Turkey had been channeling Nazi Germany’s strategies in an alleged try and expel ethnic Armenians from their breakaway state.

Now Babayan stated Newsweek that “Azerbaijan is certainly utilizing the Russian conflict in Ukraine as a chance to maximise its objectives and plans within the area” as a part of a undertaking to determine a “pan-Turkish empire”.

“Moreover, the Azerbaijani-Karabakh battle can also be a problem for the civilized world,” Babayan stated. Newsweek. “Right here we see a dilemma between values ​​and worth, beliefs and curiosity. Artsakh was getting ready to destruction, we confronted genocide and existential threats, however we didn’t given an acceptable worldwide response. It is because ‘worth’ trumps ‘values’, “Curiosity trumps beliefs.

“However this method, in the end, will lead both to degradation or destruction,” he added, “because of the aggression of these whose aggression has been tolerated because of the dilemma aforementioned”.

Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, Flags, Embassy, ​​Baku
Individuals wave flags of Turkey, Ukraine and Azerbaijan throughout a rally calling for Ukraine’s consideration and help exterior the Ukrainian embassy in Baku on February 27.
Aziz Karimov/Getty Photographs

Not all information on the location expresses the viewpoint of the location, however we transmit this information mechanically and translate it by programmatic expertise on the location and never from a human editor.

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