Armenia Reports New Border Clashes with Azerbaijan

    Armenia Reports New Border Clashes with Azerbaijan
    Last updated May 12, 2023
    Image credit: AFP [via France 24]


    • Following border clashes on Thursday which left one Azerbaijani soldier dead and four Armenian troops injured, Armenia claimed that clashes again erupted on Friday morning as recent escalations threaten to derail EU-led weekend peace talks between the Caucasus rivals.[1]
    • Armenia's defense ministry said that Azerbaijani forces "violated the ceasefire" after an alleged drone attack in the Sotk region, adding that “two servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were wounded," with one of them left in critical condition.[1]
    • Both sides blamed the other for initiating the clash, claiming their forces were defending themselves. Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of staging a "deliberate provocation" that killed one Azerbaijani soldier.[2]
    • Meanwhile, Armenia claimed that artillery and mortars had been used along the border, saying that its forces were taking "appropriate defensive measures."[3]
    • The hostilities come only a week after the US said "tangible progress" had been made at talks between foreign ministers in Washington aimed at ending the dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, with the leaders of the two countries due to hold EU-led talks in Brussels on Sunday.[3]
    • The two countries have fought two full-scale wars, including one in 2020, which led to a series of Russian-brokered agreements that allowed the Armenian movement into Nagorno-Karabakh. Tensions have risen in recent months since Azerbaijani protesters — which Armenia says are government-backed— have blocked the Lachin corridor.[4]


    Narrative A

    Azerbaijan continues to escalate the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh with provocative actions, as it wants to test the waters for a spring offensive against Armenia. Ethnic Armenians are facing continued oppression in Nagorno-Karabakh while the international community remains silent. Azerbaijan cannot continue making its aggressive threats.

    Narrative B

    Armenia's leadership thinks it can escalate tensions while also playing the victim in the Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. EU observers in the region have given Armenia the green light to provoke Azerbaijan by saying that Baku is planning a new offensive, for which there is simply no evidence. It seems, yet again, that it is Yerevan that wants more violence.

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