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13 May, 2021 12:20

Armenian PM sounds alarm over ‘incursion’ by Azerbaijani troops, sparking fear of fresh conflict after bloody Nagorno-Karabakh war

Armenian PM sounds alarm over ‘incursion’ by Azerbaijani troops, sparking fear of fresh conflict after bloody Nagorno-Karabakh war

Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia’s acting prime minister, has accused forces from neighboring Azerbaijan of conducting a secret raid in his country’s territory months after the two nations signed a ceasefire agreement to end a brutal war.

At a meeting of his security council in Yerevan on Wednesday, Pashinyan said the “Azeri army crossed the state border of Armenia, going three and a half kilometers inland.” According to him, “They are trying to surround Lake Sevlich” – a body of water spanning both sides of the mountainous frontier between the two nations.

“The actions of the Azerbaijani side are unacceptable,” Pashinyan added. “This is an incursion into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.” However, he was quick to add that this had not been a violent expedition and “they did not use firearms or any other weapon.” Instead, he claimed, “they tried to justify their actions with some kind of fake [identity] cards.” Armenian border troops had previously claimed Azerbaijan’s soldiers had attempted to “carry out certain activities” to try to shift the demarcation line.

Also on rt.com Fresh fears of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of violating ceasefire with machine gun volley

The same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku. Local media reported that the main area of focus was ensuring a cessation of hostilities between the two Caucasus countries. The summit comes a week after an equivalent set of meetings was held with Armenian counterparts in Yerevan.

In November last year, Pashinyan and Aliyev signed a Moscow-brokered ceasefire agreement to end the bloody war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, considered a de jure part of Azerbaijan, but was home to many ethnic Armenians and run almost autonomously by officials with close ties to Yerevan. The deal, which saw Armenia relinquish control over swaths of territory, has effectively paused fighting. However, in February, Baku accused Armenian troops of firing across the border. Yerevan denies the allegations.

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