Joshua agrees terms for title fight with Fury on the line

About 50 Armenian soldiers were killed in large-scale clashes on Tuesday, the deadliest between Armenia and Azerbaijan since the 2020 war, Yerevan said. Armenia denounces “aggression” by Baku.

Russia, which claims the role of arbiter in the Caucasus, has announced that it has negotiated a ceasefire agreement in force since 9 am local (8 am Swiss), which was not confirmed by the two capital letters at the time.

The eruption of violence comes as Moscow, which sent a peacekeeping force to the region after the 2020 war, is busy with its difficult military offensive in Ukraine.

losses on both sides

“At the moment we have killed 49 (soldiers) (…) and unfortunately this is not the final number,” said Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian during a speech to the parliament in Yerevan. Azerbaijan also acknowledged “losses” without giving a number.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have already fought two wars over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the past three decades, the last of which took place in 2020. The fresh fighting that erupted overnight illustrates how volatile the situation remains and threatens to derail a European-brokered peace process.

Mr Pashinian condemned an “aggression” by Baku and called on the international community to react during talks with several foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Escalation”

“With this escalation, Azerbaijan is undermining the ongoing peace process” between Yerevan and Baku with EU mediation, he told the Armenian parliament. He added that the intensity of the fighting, which broke out just after midnight Tuesday, had “diminished” in the morning.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said late in the morning that a ceasefire had been in effect since 09:00 local time and called on both parties to “respect” it. Russia is “extremely concerned about the sharp deterioration of the situation,” he added, calling for “restraint.”

Earlier, the Armenian Defense Ministry said that “fighting” was taking place at several points on the border, with troops from Baku attempting to advance into Armenian territory. He accuses the Azerbaijani armed forces of “using artillery, mortars, drones and large-caliber rifles” and attacking “military and civilian infrastructure”.

American and Swiss group

While there have been regular clashes between the two countries along their shared border since the end of the 2020 war, Tuesday’s fighting is an escalation. The two countries blame each other: Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of “subversive acts on a large scale” and adds that Armenian mortar fire caused “casualties” in its ranks.

For its part, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of initiating hostilities by “intense bombardment” of its positions towards several cities such as Goris and Sotk.

Overnight, the United States said it was “extremely concerned” and called for an immediate cessation of fighting between Baku and Yerevan.

Switzerland was also “concerned”. On Twitter, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) calls on “both parties to end the conflict” calls on “both parties to end the military conflict, to comply with their obligations under international law and to protect the civilian population”. Negotiations must be resumed to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict as quickly as possible.

For its part, Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan, on Tuesday urged Armenia to “cease its provocations and focus on peace negotiations.”

The Karabakh question

The historically complicated relations between Yerevan and Baku are still poisoned today by a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian-populated enclave that seceded from Azerbaijan with Armenian support.

After a first war that cost the lives of more than 30,000 people in the early 1990s, clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over control of this mountain region broke out again in autumn 2020. More than 6500 people were killed in this new war that Armenia lost.

Yerevan ceded significant territory to Azerbaijan as part of a ceasefire agreement brokered by Moscow at the time, which sent peacekeeping troops to Nagorno-Karabakh. This result was felt as a humiliation in Armenia, where several opposition parties have since called for the resignation of Mr Pashinian, whom they accuse of making too many concessions to Baku.

This article was published automatically. Sources: ats/afp

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