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Armenia announces cease-fire with Azerbaijan

September 15, 2022

Armenian security officials announced a truce after two days of shelling near the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

A view of the Armenian town of Vardenis after shelling from Azerbaijan
Villages along the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan were hit in the fightingImage: Alexander Patrin/Tass/dpa/picture alliance

Armenia said on Thursday that a cease-fire agreed with neighboring Azerbaijan on Wednesday was still holding.

"With the participation of the international community, a cease-fire has been reached," Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of Armenia's Security Council, said in televised remarks from Yerevan late on Wednesday.

He added that the cease-fire came into effect from 8 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) on Wednesday. The announcement comes after a previous agreement, which was brokered by Russia as recently as Tuesday, had fallen by the wayside.

There were no reported clashes overnight, but Azerbaijan published a list of 71 soldiers that have been killed in the recent clashes. Armenia has said 105 of its own troops have been killed.

EU welcomes cease-fire

The European Union welcomed the ceasefire between the two countries, which it said was "being respected so far."

"The EU remains strongly involved in the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan," Peter Stano, the bloc's spokesman for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement.

He aslo added that EU Special Representative, Toivo Klaar, was holding high-level consultations in Baku on Wednesday and in Yerevan on Thursday.

According to Armenian Foreign Ministry, the delegation of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) is also due in Yerevan later Thursday. Armenia is a member of the CSTO, and Yerevan has already asked for military help from Moscow.

Long-running conflict

Both countries blamed each other for the initial provocation, which led to two days of shelling and more than 170 soldier casualties.

Earlier on Wednesday, Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Azerbaijani forces had taken control of 10 square kilometers (almost 4 square miles) of Armenian territory during the clashes.

The recent outbreak of fighting is the bloodiest since the two former Soviet states went to war in 2020 over control of Nagorno-Karabakh — a region within Azerbaijan with a large Armenian population that had been under de-facto Armenian control.

That conflict was brought to an end by the involvement of Russian peacekeeping forces. But some 6,500 troops from both sides were killed and Armenia was forced to give up control of the contested region.

In Yerevan on Thursday, anti-government protesters gathered to call for the resignation of the Armenian prime minister amid rumors he was planning on agreeing to further concessions with Azerbaijan.

ab, zc, dh/jsi (AP, AFP, Interfax, dpa)

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