Yerevan has called for the reactivation of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance with Moscow amid renewed border hostilities that have left at least 49 people dead

Armenia appeals for a friendship agreement with Russia after Azerbaijan attacks

APSERGEI GRITS - An ethnic Armenian soldier stands guard next to the Nagorno-Karabakh flag on a hilltop near Charektar, in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, on a new border with the Kalbajar district handed over to Azerbaijan

New clashes break out on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Shortly after midnight, Yerevan reported that Azeri forces had begun an "intensive bombardment" towards its territory. "The enemy continues to use artillery, mortars, unmanned aerial vehicles and large-calibre weapons in the directions of Vardenis, Sotk, Artanish, Ishkhanasar, Goris and Kapan against military and civilian infrastructure," the Armenian Defence Ministry announced hours later.

Yerevan has also denounced that Azerbaijani forces "are trying to advance into Armenian territory". At least 49 Armenian soldiers have reportedly been killed in the latest attacks, according to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. 


Baku's version is very different. Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of 'large-scale subversive acts'. According to the Defence Ministry, its military positions 'were attacked, including with trench mortars'. For this reason, the Azeri army took "decisive countermeasures to suppress Armenia's firing points". Baku has also reported casualties among its armed forces, although no figures have been released. 

Amid the clash of accusations, Armenia and Azerbaijan managed to reach a ceasefire to halt hostilities, although it failed within minutes, Azeri media reported. 


The long-running conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has recently been revived. After the second Nagorno-Karabakh war - an Azeri territory disputed between Yerevan and Baku and populated mostly by Armenians - in 2020, there have been several clashes between the two countries. A new outbreak of clashes in August left two Armenian servicemen dead and 14 others wounded. Tensions have been rising, with Yerevan last week accusing the Azeri army of killing one of its soldiers in a shootout on the border. 


The last Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020 cost the lives of more than 6,500 people and ended with a ceasefire brokered by Russia, which deployed around 2,000 observers to monitor the truce. As The Moscow Times reports, the war in Ukraine has fuelled rumours that Russia was withdrawing some of its peacekeepers to Ukrainian territory. Armenian officials quoted by the newspaper have linked these latest developments to the current conflict in Ukraine.


Moscow - Armenia's security ally - and Yerevan have agreed to "take necessary measures to stabilise the situation" through a conversation between Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Armenian counterpart Suren Papikyan. Pashinyan also called Russian President Vladimir Putin to inform him of the delicate situation. Furthermore, as reports, Armenia has appealed to Russia on the basis of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance and asked the post-Soviet military alliance CSTO and the United Nations for help


In addition to Moscow, Yerevan has been in dialogue with Paris and Washington pending "an appropriate response from the international community". US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on both sides to "end all military hostility immediately". 


Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's ally Turkey has blamed Armenia for the latest clashes and called on Yerevan to "cease its provocations and focus on peace negotiations and cooperation" with its neighbour, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter after a phone call with his Azeri counterpart, Djeyhun Bayramov.

Azerbaijan, Europe's new energy partner

This latest confrontation comes amid a severe energy crisis in Europe exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. After suspending supplies to several countries, Russia has decided to cut off the flow of gas to the continent completely until sanctions are lifted.

Since the invasion began, European countries have sought new alternatives to free themselves from Russian energy dependence. Among these new energy allies is Azerbaijan, with which Brussels signed an agreement last July to double natural gas imports until 2027.


"With this new Memorandum of Understanding, we are opening a new chapter in our energy cooperation with Azerbaijan, a key partner in our efforts to move away from Russian fossil fuels," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after a meeting of the Cooperation Council between the European Union and the Republic of Azerbaijan.