Russia, mediator in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, accused Baku on Saturday (March 25th) of violating the ceasefire agreement that ended the 2020 war between the two countries by letting its troops cross the demarcation line.

"On March 25, 2023 (Saturday), a unit of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces crossed the line of contact in the Shusha district, in violation" of the agreement reached in 2020, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

According to Moscow, Azerbaijani troops "occupied a height" and "began the installation of a post".

Russian peacekeepers on the ground "are taking measures to prevent an escalation of the crisis situation and avoid mutual provocations by opposing parties."

"The Azerbaijani side was informed of the need to comply with the provisions (of the agreement), take measures to stop engineering work and withdraw the armed forces to the positions they previously occupied," the Russian ministry added.

Russian-sponsored ceasefire

Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet republics in the Caucasus, clashed in a short war in 2020 for control of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

The conflict resulted in an Armenian military rout and a ceasefire agreement sponsored by Russia, which deployed peacekeepers there.

However, deadly clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh or on the border between the two countries continue to break out periodically.

Armenia has also been warning for several weeks of a "humanitarian crisis" in Karabakh due to an Azerbaijani blockade that has caused shortages of medicine and food and power cuts.

Yerevan accuses Russian peacekeepers of failing to act to end the blockade.

A mountainous region populated mainly by Armenians and having seceded from Azerbaijan after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nagorno-Karabakh continues to poison relations between Yerevan and Baku.

The first conflict, in the early 1990s, at the time of the dismantling of the USSR, which left 30,000 dead, ended in an Armenian victory with the support of Moscow.

But Azerbaijan took revenge in the fall of 2020 during a second war, which killed 6,500 people and allowed it to retake many territories.

With AFP

The summary of the week France 24 invites you to look back on the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news with you everywhere! Download the France 24 app