Azerbaijan Launches Deadly Attack in Nagorno-Karabakh Dispute
Azerbaijan launched an offensive against Armenian positions in Nagorno-Karabakh, leading to civilian casualties. France and the EU condemned the action, while Russia called for peace.
Azerbaijan launched an offensive against Armenian positions in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, resulting in casualties among both civilians and military personnel. The military action, which Azerbaijan referred to as an "anti-terrorist operation," was in response to landmine explosions that caused the deaths of soldiers and civilians. Armenia condemned the offensive, labeling it as ethnic cleansing.
France and the European Union strongly condemned Azerbaijan's actions, urging the country to respect international law and cease its military activities. France called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to address the civilian lives lost and endangered in the conflict. The country also expressed its commitment to working with European and American allies to respond to Azerbaijan's actions.
Russia, which has close ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and maintains a military base in Armenia, called for peace in the region. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed that Azerbaijan was providing Moscow with information on its military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh. The United States, represented by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, expressed deep concern over Azerbaijan's actions and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 resulted in a six-week war, and there are growing fears that the conflict could reignite. Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under ethnic Armenian control since 1994, saw parts of it reclaimed by Azerbaijan during the war. Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region, but Armenia has criticized their failure to keep the road from Armenia open.
Ambassador James Warlick, a former U.S. co-chair of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe's Minsk Group, expressed concerns about the actions of Russian peacekeepers during the escalation. He emphasized the need for peacekeepers to fulfill their responsibilities and ensure the maintenance of peace in the region. Despite claims that Azerbaijan had informed Russia of its plans, Russia denied having prior knowledge of the attack.