Armenia is seeking the assistance of the Russian army on Tuesday over deadly border clashes with Azerbaijan as Moscow’s forces remain embroiled in the Kremlin’s own war in Ukraine.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other for exchanges of fire around the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region that began at about midnight local time, which Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashniyan said killed around 49 people.
Yerevan later blamed Baku of “trying to advance” inside Armenian territory.
“The enemy persists in using artillery, mortars, drones and large-calibre rifles in the directions of Vardenis, Sotk, Artanish, Ishkhanasar, Goris and Kapan, targeting both military and civilian infrastructures,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
The Defense Minister of Armenia, Suren Papikyan & Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu spoke by phone and agreed on “joint steps to stabilize the situation,” the defense ministry in Yerevan said.
Armenia’s security council, led by the Caucasus republic’s prime minister and president, gathered to invoke a mutual assistance and cooperation treaty with Russia, which spells out joint defense and military assistance in case of aggression toward signatories, the Armenian government said in a statement.
“It was decided to officially appeal to the Russian Federation in order to use the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation as well as Mutual Assistance,” the statement reads.
The statement has mentioned that Armenia will also turn to the Moscow-led security bloc of 6 former Soviet republics, the Collective Security Treaty Organizations (CSTO) along with the United Nations Security Council for assistance.
As per Russian media reports on Tuesday, “Armenia has already submitted the formal appeals.”
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken.