YEREVAN — Yerevan has accused Baku of serious cease-fire violations along the contact line between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh republic, including one on December 14 in which a 26-year-old Armenian officer was killed in a shoot-out. The soldier, Hrant Poghosian, was shot and killed by Azerbaijani forces at a western section of the frontier on Saturday.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Armenia Defense Ministry said its troops have been ordered to take “preventive and tough” actions against Azerbaijani army units.
Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian told visiting Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group co-chairs in Yerevan on December 16 that the incidents hindered the process of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.
Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, Jacques Faure of France, James Warlick of the United States, and the personal representative of the OSCE chairperson in office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, are in Yerevan to discuss the next steps in resolving the so-called “frozen conflict.” They held talks with Armneian President Serzh Sarkisian later in the day.
On December 15, they discussed the issue with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku. No details were released.
The co-chairs did not immediately make statements on their talks. James Warlick, the chief U.S. negotiator, called the talks with Aliyev “productive.” Writing on Twitter on Sunday, he said both Aliyev and Sarkisian are “seeking a path to peace.”
Sarkisian’s office said the Armenian president and the mediators discussed plans for another Armenian-Azerbaijani summit early next year. It gave no further details.
Sarkisian and Aliyev revived hopes for a Karabakh settlement when they met in Vienna on November 19 for the first time in nearly two years. Their foreign ministers held follow-up talks in Kiev on December 4. Mammadyarov said afterwards that he and Nalbandian discussed the substance of a possible peaceful settlement for the first time since 2011.