Armenia asks military help from Russia following armed clashes with Azerbaijan

Because of the shootout on the border with Azerbaijan, Armenia appealed to Moscow with a request to defend the sovereign territory of Armenia in accordance with the 1997 bilateral agreement, the Secretary of the country's Security Council Armen Grigoryan said.

"There was an attack on the sovereign territory of Armenia, and we appeal to Russia within the framework of the 1997 agreement between the two countries with a request to protect the territorial integrity of Armenia, within the logic of the implementation of mutual obligations,” Grigoryan said.

To protect the territorial integrity, Armenia resorts to principles of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), he added.

"If we cannot resolve the crisis with the help of existing structures, Armenia will have to turn to other structures, that is, other international partners," he added.

The exchange of fire occurred on November 16 on the eastern borders of Armenia in the area of ​​Mount Tsitsernakar. The countries first accused each other of provocations. The border shootout quickly escalated into full-fledged hostilities with the use of armored vehicles and artillery. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called upon his compatriots to be prepared to defend the Holy Motherland. Explosions and gunfire could be heard even a few kilometers from the battle zone.

Both sides quickly declared losses.

During the hostilities on the border with Azerbaijan, 12 servicemen of Armenia were taken prisoner.

"Twelve servicemen of the Armed Forces of Armenia — seven contractual soldiers and five conscripts — were taken prisoner," the message posted on the website of the Defence Ministry of Armenia said.

Azerbaijan suffers heavy losses in the current hostilities. The Armed Forces of Armenia destroyed about a dozen armoured vehicles of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan.

"The Armenian side also suffers losses. The data is yet to be verified,” the ministry said.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in a conversation with President of the European Council Charles Michel that several Azerbaijani servicemen were wounded, but Baku gave an adequate response to the actions of Armenia, he added.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced that there was panic among the personnel of the Armenian army, and a counteroffensive was underway.

This is the most serious incident on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan since the end of the 44-day war.

Clashes on this part of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan occur on a regular basis. The Kelbajar region, which was previously controlled by the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, was delivered to Azerbaijan after the war. This created the interstate border between the two warring countries in the area that used to be referred to as an administrative border between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

On May 12, 2020 the Azerbaijani military entered the Black Lake region. Yerevan called the incident an offence against the sovereign territory of Armenia and appealed to both Moscow and the CSTO for help. According to Azerbaijan, defining the precise location where the border between the two countries run is impossible as it should be delimited and demarcated first.

A year later, the parties still fail to comply with the provisions of the joint declaration that ended the war. In particular, the countries failed to unblock transport routes in the region, which would give Azerbaijan an opportunity to receive direct land communication with the autonomous Nakhichevan and further with Turkey through the territory of Armenia.