Azerbaijan cries foul over Russian cover for 'illegal' Armenian military movement

Azerbaijan cries foul over Russian cover for 'illegal' Armenian military movement

'Gross violation' of trilateral deals pushing Azerbaijan to set up Lachin border control point, says Defense Ministry

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) – Azerbaijan said it has recorded another instance of Russian peacekeepers escorting Armenia’s “illegal” military transports in the Karabakh region.

Azerbaijani forces saw a Russian BTR-82A armored personnel carrier moving along with three Armenian Ural vehicles and a Kamaz truck with a fuel tank in the direction of the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turshsu road, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

It said such “unacceptable” actions were a “gross violation” of trilateral agreements between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia that helped halt the 2020 Karabakh conflict.

These “regular illegal activities make it inevitable to establish an Azerbaijani border crossing and control point at the end of the Lachin road on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border,” the ministry warned.

Earlier this month, Baku said two of its soldiers were shot dead by Armenian forces when they tried to stop vehicles for an inspection on the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turshsu road.

Azerbaijan issued a statement days later calling on Russia to immediately stop aiding Armenia’s “illegal military transports.”

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation after 44 days of intense fighting that ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement.

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