YEREVAN, May 17. /TASS/. The Azerbaijani armed forces opened fire overnight on the north-eastern section of the Armenian border, the Armenian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
According to the ministry, "On the night to May 17, the enemy continued to fire sporadic bursts on the border positions of the Armenian army in the north-eastern section of the state border using small arms and sniper weapons of different caliber." In addition, the ministry claims, the Azerbaijani armed forces during the night "continued to violate the ceasefire agreement" in Nagorno-Karabakh, "using firearms of various caliber, infantry fighting vehicles, 60-mmm mortars and the AGS -17 grenade launchers."
"The most intensive shelling attack was launched in the southeast, Hadrut, and the eastern, Martuni directions of the contact line," the Defense Ministry said. "A contract serviceman of the Defense Army of Nagorno-Karabakh was fatally wounded by the enemy’s fire in the southern area."
"The entire responsibility for the consequences of the tense situation on the front line rests with the Azerbaijani side," the Defense Ministry said. The ministry added that "the Azerbaijani armed forces have taken provocative actions to destabilize the situation at a time when a meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, organized with mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh, was held in Vienna."
The situation along the line of engagement of the conflicting parties in Nagorno-Karabakh deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2. Following fierce armed clashes at the contact line, the parties to the conflict accused each other of violating truce. On April 5, Russia mediated a meeting between Colonel-General Nadjmeddin Sadykov, the chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces General Staff, and Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov, the chief of the Armenian Armed Forces General Staff, that took place in Moscow.
The sides agreed to cease the hostilities on the line disengaging the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. The defense ministries of Azerbaijan and Armenia announced a ceasefire on the contact line as of 12:00 (11:00 Moscow time) the same day. Ever since, the parties occasionally report brief exchanges of fire at the contact line.
At the Vienna meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, the sides reach an agreement, in particular, "to take steps to monitor compliance with the ceasefire agreements and implementation of the mechanisms for investigating incidents," as well as "on the possible resumption of the negotiating process on the conflict settlement", the press service of the Armenian head reported.