Armenia urged Moscow on Monday to remove Azerbaijan’s troops from an area of Nagorno-Karabakh policed by Russian peacekeepers in the latest flare-up of a bitter territorial dispute in Russia’s backyard.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry rejected Russian claims of a full withdrawal by Azerbaijan troops from a village in Nagorno-Karabakh, a largely Armenian-populated territory that’s recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan. They also called for an investigation into the actions of Russian peacekeepers.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday that Azeri troops had withdrawn after a recent incursion.
“We consider it important to conduct a proper investigation into the actions of the [Russian] peacekeeping contingent during this entire period of the incursion of Azerbaijani units,” Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said, repeating previous calls.
“We expect Russian peacekeeping forces in Nagorno-Karabakh to take concrete measures to stop the incursion of Azeri units into the peacekeepers' area of responsibility and the withdrawal of Azeri armed forces,” it added.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry denied withdrawing from the disputed area.
“There have been no changes in the positions of the Azerbaijani army in the village of Farrukh and in the surrounding heights, which are part of the sovereign territory of our country,” it said.
Armenia said that three of its soldiers were killed and 15 wounded in clashes last week. Azerbaijan did not report any casualties.
Ceasefire violations have been common since the two ex-Soviet countries ended a six-week war in 2020 that claimed more than 6,500 lives.
Armenian officials have linked recent clashes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pro-government Azeri media seeking to discredit the Russian peacekeeping contingent.