On March 26, Russia’s Defense Ministry released a statement blaming Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire in Nagorno Karabakh, where tensions have risen in the last one month with reports of casualties and territories changing hands.
“Azerbaijani army entered the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeeping contingent in violation of the provisions of the tripartite statement. Four drone strikes were carried out on the units of the Armed Forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh. Currently, Russia is taking measures to resolve the situation.”
The statement followed nearly a month of heightened tensions along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces. In early March, there were reports of ceasefire violations, for which both sides accused of each other. On March 24, the Defense Ministry of the non-recognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic stated that 3 Armenian soldiers were killed and 14 wounded by Azerbaijani attack along the line of contact. The same day, the Armenian authorities of Karabakh also claimed that the Azerbaijani army entered the village of Farrukh (Parukh – Arm) in Asgaran district that lies under the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeepers and “took control of locations nearby”. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, in response, accused the Armenian side of “exaggerating the issue by means of disinformation”.
Azerbaijan’s response to Russian staement didn’t take long. On March 26 evening, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry released a statement. The main points from the statement are:
- The statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry contradicts the Tripartite Statement.
- There is no administrative territorial unit called “Nagorno-Karabakh”.
- Azerbaijani army is working to clarify the location of dislocations in the region.
- The name of the village is not Furukh, but Farrukh.