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14 Sep, 2022 14:39

Armenia asks Russian-led alliance for military assistance

Yerevan has accused Azerbaijani troops of seizing its territory
Armenia asks Russian-led alliance for military assistance

Yerevan has officially requested military aid from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russian-led defense bloc, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told parliament on Wednesday. The development comes amid continued clashes on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan claimed that Azerbaijani troops seized some Armenian territory as a result of the fighting. He also said that Yerevan had invoked Article four of the Collective Security Treaty, which treats an attack on one member as an attack on all.

“We have asked for help, including military, in restoring the territorial integrity of Armenia and ensuring the withdrawal of Azerbaijani Armed Forces,” Pashinyan said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the CSTO announced it would send a mission to Armenia to assess the situation on the ground. The delegation is expected to be led by CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas of Belarus and include Russian General Anatoly Sidorov, the head of the bloc’s joint staff.

Tensions between Baku and Yerevan spiked this week week when troops engaged in clashes on the border, resulting in dozens of deaths on both sides, according to officials. Azerbaijan has previously accused Armenia of staging a large-scale “provocation” on the border by instigating violence – something Yerevan had denied.

Relations between the two neighbors have been strained for decades because of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area is a de-jure part of Azerbaijan but is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians, who sought to proclaim independence from Baku in the 1990s with support from Yerevan.

In 2020, the two nations fought a 44-day war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which saw Azerbaijan make some gains but eventually ended with a Moscow-brokered truce.

In August, Baku demanded the “demilitarization” of the disputed region while Yerevan accused Azerbaijan of pressuring it into abandoning a route linking Armenian territory to Nagorno-Karabakh, which is also known as the Lachin corridor.