1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Armenia says Azerbaijan mobilizing troops in border regions

September 7, 2023

Armenia claimed Azerbaijan will soon engage in a fresh "military provocation." The announcement came as Armenia seeks greater security coordination with the US and drifts away from its traditional ally Russia.

An Armenian protester holding a flag at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Armenians have frequently voiced their disdain towards Azerbaijan's military activity and its actions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region Image: Alexander Patrin/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

Armenia said Thursday that its regional rival Azerbaijan is mobilizing troops in their shared border regions.

Armenia and Azerbaijan recently fought a war in 2020 over the landlocked ethnic Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. A cease-fire that year led to Azerbaijan regaining territory in the region and Russia deploying peacekeepers to the conflict zone.

What is the current situation in the Caucasus?

"Azerbaijan has massed forces along the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh and on the border with Armenia over the last few days," Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told government officials while adding that "the military-political situation in our region has seriously worsened."

Pashinyan said Azerbaijan is "demonstrating its intention to undertake a fresh military provocation against Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia."

Azerbaijan derided Armenia's statements as "yet another false political manipulation." 

"Armenia must abandon territorial claims to Azerbaijan, to end military-political provocations, and to stop creating obstacles to the peace process," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said. 

Armenia has expressed anger over Azerbaijan's blockade of the Lachin Corridor, its only access point into Nagorno-Karabakh. The UN has called on Azerbaijan to lift the blockade, as it has caused food and medicine shortages in the region.  

Elchin Amirbayov, the representative of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for special assignments, told DW chief political correspondent Nina Haase on Wednesday that there was no blockade of the corridor. Amirbayov said instead there was "limited access" to the enclave, saying "hardline separatists" are keeping Nagorno-Karabakh's population hostage.  

Armenia to hold joint drills with US amid security fears

The security fears expressed by Armenia regarding Azerbaijan come as Yerevan seeks closer defense ties with the US. Pashinyan has said that Armenia has been making a "strategic mistake" by relying on Russia for its security.

The Armenian government said Wednesday that it will hold joint drills with US troops from September 11 to 20.  

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the exercises hurt stability in the region while adding that "Russia continues to fulfill its role as guarantor of security."

Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin accused the NATO alliance of trying to bring Armenia "into the sphere of its pernicious influence."   

Armenia is currently a member of the Moscow-based Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which comprises six nations.

Pashinyan has been critical of the CSTO's efforts to safeguard Armenian security amid the ongoing conflict with oil-rich Azerbaijan.   

wd/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)