STEPANAKERT — On March 27, at around 9:00 am, units of the Azerbaijani armed forces tried to advance towards one of the heights adjacent to the Stepanakert-Lisagor road, Artsakh’s Defense Ministry informs.
The attempted advance of the Azerbaijani unit was foiled due to the preventive actions of the Artsakh Defense Army soldiers on combat duty in the area.
The incident was reported to the command of the peacekeeping troops of the Russian Federation.
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Azerbaijani units had “crossed the line of contact in the Shushi region, occupying a height 2.9 kilometers northeast of Saribaba mountain and started engineering work on a post there.
The Russian Defense Ministry said Azerbaijan’s troop movement amounted to a “violation” of the 2020 ceasefire agreement. It called on Azerbaijan to “cease the engineering work and to withdraw their forces to their previous positions.”
Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Ministry said it expected the Russian peacekeeping forces to take practical steps to eliminate the consequences of Azerbaijan’s repeated violation of the ceasefire, as well as to prevent any new possible violations.
According to the authorities in Stepanakert, Russian peacekeepers deployed to a part of the strategic hill later on Saturday to stop the Azerbaijani forces from advancing further and try to get them to retreat from the area.
“That road is very visible from the height occupied by them and it cannot be used now for security reasons,” Artur Harutyunyan, a senior Karabakh lawmaker told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “They can shoot or shell.”
Arayik Harutyunyan, the Karabakh president, discussed the worsening security situation at an emergency meeting with local officials and political leaders. He complained that “international actors” content themselves with making “declarative statements” instead of forcing Baku to respect the ceasefire.
“Therefore, we need to soberly assess the whole gravity of the situation … and draw necessary conclusions,” Harutyunyan’s office quoted him as saying. It gave no other details.