Armenia Asks Putin for Security Consultation on Azeri Clash

Telegram från Bloomberg / Omni Ekonomi
31 okt. 2020, 08.45

(Bloomberg) -- Armenia has formally asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss defense assistance to the country if the military conflict with Azerbaijan spills over into Armenian territory, according to a statement from the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote to Putin to request talks on help Russia could provide to the nation based on a treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance signed in 1997. It’s the first time Armenia has formally asked Russia for talks about aid under the mutual defense pact.

Russia will provide Armenia with all the necessary assistance in accordance with the treaty if the clashes cross into its territory, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday, referring to Pashinyan’s letter. Russia also urged both parties to stick to a cease-fire accord and negotiate in line with a plan reached on Oct. 10.

Azerbaijan has no military targets within Armenia, President İlham Aliyev’s foreign policy aide Hikmet Hajiyev said by email. The Azerbaijani army is only restoring the country’s internationally recognized borders, he said.

Armenia reported “intense” fighting Friday as Azerbaijan’s forces closed in on a key strategic city in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenia accused Azerbaijan of using phosphorous weapons on Saturday, according to the Twitter account of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan. Azerbaijan rejected the allegations, saying Armenia was involved in shipping phosphorous, according to an Interfax report, citing a statement from Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry.

(Updates with Azerbaijan comment in fourth paragraph.)

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.