Further escalation is not in Baku’s interests, the country’s foreign minister has said
Baku has “unilaterally” proposed a “humanitarian ceasefire” to Yerevan, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The two nations have witnessed deadly border clashes this week, with Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of taking control over some of its territory.
“It is not in the interest of our country to escalate the situation and destabilize it,”the statement read. The announcement was made as Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov met Russia’s special representative for international cultural cooperation, Mikhail Shvidkoy.
Yerevan has so far not confirmed receiving the offer. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Wednesday accused Azerbaijan of launching a “large-scale attack” on Armenia and “encroaching on [its] territorial integrity”during a meeting with foreign ambassadors in the Armenian capital.
He also blasted Baku for issuing “ultimatums” and supposedly expecting Yerevan to “agree to all its conditions without negotiation.”
Earlier this week, both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of instigating violence as clashes on the border resulted in the deaths of dozens of soldiers from both sides. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also said on Wednesday that he had asked the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO) – a Russian-led defense alliance – for military assistance, accusing Azerbaijani troops of seizing some parts of Armenia’s sovereign territory in recent days.
Tensions between the two neighbors have been running high over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Yerevan has supported the region’s independence, which is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians, ever since it sought to break away from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s.
In 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a 44-day war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which ended up with a Russian-brokered truce. In August, Baku demanded “demilitarization” of the region, while Yerevan accused it of pressuring Armenia into abandoning the route linking it to Nagorno-Karabakh.
The CSTO announced on Wednesday that it would send a mission to Armenia to assess the situation on the ground. It will be led by CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas of Belarus and include Russian General Anatoly Sidorov, the head of the bloc’s joint staff.