YEREVAN — Armenian frontline units fully control the situation at the borders and the tensions are likely to subside soon after “appropriate measures” have been taken, Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobian, deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, told reporters over the weekend.
The upsurge in fighting has been particularly serious at the western section of Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan. In the course of last week, villages on both sides of the frontier were directly hit in mostly overnight skirmishes between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops stationed in the area. Several civilians were wounded as a result.
“Compared with the previous days, the frequency of ceasefire violations has decreased,” Armenia’s Defense Ministry said later on Saturday. The Azerbaijani military likewise did not report major armed incidents there over the weekend.
In Hakobian’s view, by escalating the situation at the borders Azerbaijan tries to blackmail the mediators to register progress in the negotiations that would be favorable for Baku.
Meanwhile, Karabakh’s Defense Army accused Baku of systematically ratcheting up tensions along “the line of contact” around Karabakh. In a statement released on Sunday, it said that Azerbaijani forces increasingly use mortars and rockets when violating the ceasefire regime there. It said that failure to de-escalate the situation could have “unpredictable consequences” for Baku.
The warning came the day after around 100 Karabakh Armenian volunteers led by Ara Harutiunian, NKR’s prime minister, arrived in Armenia’s northern Tavush province to temporarily man some Armenian army posts along its border with western Azerbaijan. The authorities in Stepanakert portrayed the largely symbolic deployment as a show of solidarity with the local population.