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Yerevan accuses Baku of undermining regional peace and security

According to the Armenian foreign ministry, Azerbaijan is seeking to hamper "the process of regional unblocking and opening all communication routes"

YEREVAN, August 17. /TASS/. Azerbaijan’s provocative actions at the border with Armenia undermine regional peace and security and jeopardize any de-escalation efforts, the Armenian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

"Notably, these actions are accompanied by the threats voiced by Azerbaijan’s top leadership to use force against Artsakh (the non-recognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic - TASS) and Armenia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We strongly condemn the Azerbaijani side’s provocative actions that are openly geared towards jeopardizing de-escalation efforts and undermining regional security and peace," it said in a statement.

Baku, according to the Armenian foreign ministry, is seeking "to prevent the resumption of peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group" and to hamper "the process of regional unblocking and opening all communication routes."

"Armenia will keep on defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the right of the Artsakh people to self-determination and the right to live in their native land," the ministry stressed.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France, and the United States.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Under the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachinsky corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave to exercise control of the ceasefire observance. Apart from that, a number of districts came over to Baku’s control.

The situation at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border has been tense since May 12, when Armenia’s defense ministry said that Azerbaijani armed forces had tried to carry out "certain works" in a border area in Syunik Province in a bid to "adjust the border. Since then, the sides have been reporting border incidents from time to time.