Azerbaijan claimed to have taken control on August 3 of several positions and destroyed Armenian targets in Nagorno-Karabakh during an escalation that left three dead and revived the risk of war in this mountainous enclave.
“Control has been established on several important heights,” including hills, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that its forces were in the process of fortifying these positions. Both sides reported casualties: two Armenian fighters from Nagorno-Karabakh and one Azeri soldier.
Yerevan “calls on the international community to take measures to stop Azerbaijan’s aggressive attitude and actions and to activate the necessary mechanisms to do so,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Russia takes ‘measures to stabilize the situation’, EU calls for end to fighting
Later in the day, Russia, which had been instrumental in the 2020 ceasefire, accused Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire and said it was acting to restore stability to the area.
“In the Saribaba area, the ceasefire regime has been violated by the armed forces of Azerbaijan,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that “the command of the Russian force of peacekeepers, with representatives of Azerbaijan and Armenia, are taking steps to stabilize the situation”.
“It is essential to defuse, to fully respect the ceasefire and to return to the negotiating table to seek negotiated solutions,” said the spokesman for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell in a press release.
Definitive peace talks have been initiated under the aegis of the European Union in recent months, including discussions between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who is very politically weakened and accused by his opposition of having yielded too much to Baku during the 2020 ceasefire.
The foreign ministers of the two countries also met last month in Georgia for their first direct talks since the end of the 2020 war.