The escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region has calmed down for the time being, but the situation remains fragile. The conflicting parties exchange blows at the UN.
After Azerbaijan’s conquest of the Nagorno-Karabakh region inhabited by Armenians, both countries made serious accusations against each other before the UN Security Council. While Armenia spoke of “ethnic cleansing” by its troops, Azerbaijan described its actions as an “anti-terror measure” before the most powerful body in the United Nations on Thursday.
Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for de-escalation: “What the people in the region need is a lasting peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia. And that can only be achieved at the negotiating table.”
The authoritarian-run Azerbaijan had attacked the Nagorno-Karabakh region on its territory, which is predominantly inhabited by Armenians, with rockets and artillery since Tuesday morning in an attempt to conquer it. On Wednesday, the militarily inferior Armenians gave up. Many of them now fear being driven from their homeland or, if they stay, becoming the target of Azerbaijani violence. According to Armenian media, at least 200 people have been killed and more than 400 injured in the fighting over the past few days.
Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of “ethnic cleansing.”
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan accused the government in Baku: “The intensity and cruelty of the offensive makes it clear that the intention is to complete the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.” According to Mirzoyan, more than 10,000 people have been forcibly displaced, including women, children and the elderly, who are forced to live in the open without food or other provisions. Thousands of families were torn apart.
The situation had been alarming for a long time. But the international community has refused to take the warning signs seriously enough, complained the Armenian minister. The UN Security Council has not responded appropriately in the past. “The rights and security of the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh must be given due consideration and internationally guaranteed.”
Azerbaijan takes action against “terrorists”.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov countered: “What Armenia is trying to portray to the international community as an attack on peaceful residents of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan are in fact anti-terror measures by Azerbaijan,” he said. There are thousands of Armenian units in the region. These are equipped with heavy weapons such as tanks and other armored vehicles, artillery pieces, multiple rocket launchers, mortars and electromagnetic weapons.
The Foreign Minister continued that these troops repeatedly shelled the Azerbaijani armed forces, fortified their fighting positions and built trenches and military shelters. Bayramov held up photos to support his words. As a result, there was an attack on them, with more than 90 outposts, 20 combat vehicles, 40 artillery pieces, 30 mortars and 2 anti-aircraft missile systems destroyed within 24 hours. Armenia alone bears responsibility for the incidents.
The Caucasus is a permanent focal point – an overview of the most important conflicts
No EU statement on Nagorno-Karabakh due to Hungary’s blockade
Baerbock, who was in New York for the UN general debate, emphasized: “Now is the time for de-escalation.” At the same time, the Green politician warned against destabilizing Armenian democracy and a complete cessation of military actions. The reports of a ceasefire had been noted. “But what we need is a complete end to the violence.” Azerbaijan has the responsibility to protect the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
An expulsion or forced migration of ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh is unacceptable. At the same time, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia and Azerbaijan should not be called into question. German delegation circles in New York said it was regrettable “that Hungary was the only member state that was not prepared to support a joint EU declaration and blocked it.” There were discussions about sanctions that Germany would have been willing to accept.
UN calls for dialogue – Russia calls for an end to the fighting
At the Security Council meeting, the United Nations called for “real dialogue between the government of Azerbaijan and representatives of the region.” The top priority is to protect the civilian population. Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitri Polyansky said that now it was necessary to “prevent a resumption of fighting and steer the situation back in a political direction.” The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia committed to de-escalation in telephone conversations with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.