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Armenia and Azerbaijan border clashes lead to renewed calls for border demarcation

Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan are rising again amid border clashes that started on the 13th of November. The clashes have been the deathliest since the Nagorno-Karabakh war in November 2020 and both countries have accused each other of ceasefire violations along the border. According to Azerbaijan the fighting started when three soldiers were wounded due to Armenian sniper rifles and grenade launchers on November 13. Armenia’s Ministry of Defense, on the other hand, stated that November that Azerbaijani forces had opened fire at Armenian positions in one of Armenia’s eastern provinces.

The fighting continued until a ceasefire was mediated by Russia on the 16th of November. However, despite the ceasefire, Armenia’s Defense Ministry stated on Monday the 22nd of November that an Armenian soldier had been fatally wounded by Azerbaijani fire. Azerbaijan has denied the report.  

International calls for border demarcation          
The fighting renewed international calls for the demarcation of the border between the two countries. The European Union urged both parties to disengage their troops and respect the ceasefire. On Friday the 19th of November a spokesman for the President of the European Council announced that both countries agreed to meet in Brussels on the 15th of December to discuss ways to overcome the tensions within the region. The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership summit. Both countries will also meet with Vladimir Putin on the 26th of November.

Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan stated that Russia has been preparing a proposal on the border delimitation and demarcation that is acceptable to Yerevan. However, Pashinyan also warned against expectations that the meetings would lead to quick results. The demarcation talks have also led to rising unrest within Armenia. Opposition groups protested on the 22nd of November and demanded that the government would reveal details of the talks. Protesters stated they believe that the talks may harm Armenia’s interests and are concerned that Nagorno-Karabakh will be recognized as part of Azerbaijan’s territory.

Sources: Azatutyun, Azatutyun, Azatutyn, Azatutyun, France 24, Reuters,
Photo source: Flickr