Armenia Urges Russian Military Deployment On Azerbaijan Border

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on April 6.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Thursday he would request the deployment of Russian border guards along his country’s frontier with Azerbaijan to prevent further escalation after new clashes.

Last year Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The conflict claimed some 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede territories it had controlled for decades.

In recent months tensions have been running high over the two countries shared border. Each side accused others of firing live rounds first towards them.  

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday asked Russia to deploy troops to the country’s border with regional adversary Azerbaijan. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman declined to comment on Pashinyan’s planned proposal.

Rapid Deployment Forces of CSTO member states hold joint military exercises at the Marshal Bagramian training ground, 15 Sep 2012. Armenia is a member of the CSTO along with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The request comes after three Armenian soldiers were killed in cross-border fighting with Azerbaijani forces on Wednesday, with both countries later agreeing to a ceasefire proposal from Russia.

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Soldiers from both Armenia and Azerbaijan were wounded in the clashes.

During a 44-day conflict last year, which ended in a truce on November 10, 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages in Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia’s decades-long illegal occupation.

On November 10, 2020, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered ceasefire to end fighting and work toward a comprehensive solution.

Russia has deployed thousands of peacekeepers to monitor potential hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russia is a crucial partner of Armenia, with both countries being members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military alliance. However, Russia refused to intervene in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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