WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. State Department has denied a media report saying that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not ruled out the possibility that Azerbaijan will invade Armenia in the coming weeks.
The U.S. news website Politico reported on Friday that Blinken made that clear in an October 3 phone call with several pro-Armenian U.S. lawmakers. It cited two unnamed “people familiar with the conversation.”
“The reporting in this article is inaccurate and in no way reflects what Secretary Blinken said to lawmakers,” the State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, told Armenia’s Armenpress news agency on Sunday.
“The United States strongly supports Armenia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We have stressed that any infringement of that sovereignty and territorial integrity would bring serious consequences,” Miller said in written comments.
Tigran Balayan, the Armenian ambassador to the European Union, similarly claimed on October 8 that Azerbaijani forces could soon try to open an exterritorial land corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave through Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province. He said the West should impose sanctions on Baku to prevent such an attack.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev regularly demands such a corridor. The Azerbaijani takeover of Nagorno-Karabakh raised more fears in Yerevan that Baku may act on its implicit threats of military action.
Syunik is the sole Armenian province bordering Iran. Tehran has repeatedly warned against attempts to strip it of the common border and transport links with Armenia.