Yerevan urges Russian peacekeepers to stop Azerbaijani troop advance in Karabakh
YEREVAN. March 28 (Interfax) - Yerevan expects the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh to take measures to have Azerbaijani troops leave their area of responsibility, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said.
"We expect that the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation in Nagorno-Karabakh will take concrete measures to stem the incursion of Azerbaijani units into the area of peacekeepers' responsibility and to withdraw the Azerbaijani armed forces," the ministry said in a statement on Monday.
"We consider it important to conduct a proper investigation into the actions of the peacekeeping contingent during this entire period of the incursion of Azerbaijani units, and answer a number of questions," it said.
"On March 27, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a press-release stating that the Azerbaijani side had withdrawn its units from the Parukh settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh. Nevertheless, we are compelled to note that the incursion of Azerbaijani units into Nagorno-Karabakh in the area of responsibility of the Russian Federation's peacekeeping contingent is ongoing," it said.
The Defense Ministry of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic said later that "the village of Parukh in the Askeran district is currently under control of the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in Artsakh [the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh]."
"Owing to efforts by Artsakh armed forces, the Armenian side managed to prevent an advance by the Azerbaijani armed forces and retain control over the main part of Mount Karaglukh. The Azerbaijani forces are remaining on positions set up on part of Karaglukh," it said.
The ministry said it was continuing to interact with the command of the Russian peacekeepers to have the Azerbaijani forces return to their initial positions.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on March 26 that the Azerbaijani forces breached the trilateral agreements on Karabakh, entered the area of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers, and fired upon military units of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic from Turkish drones. The Russian Defense Ministry said later that, "following negotiations, the Azerbaijani side withdrew its units from the village of Farukh [Parukh]."
However, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Sunday that its troops were still in control of the village and the surrounding heights in Karabakh.
"The Russian Defense Ministry indicated a number of points that are inconsistent with the reality in its statement of March 27. In particular, no changes have occurred in the positions in the village of Farukh and the nearby heights. The statement that Azerbaijani troops retreated from those positions is untrue. Our army is fully in control of the operational situation," it said.