In brief

Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan blame each other for ceasefire violations

Authorities in Armenian-majority republic claim Azerbaijani army shells villages

The authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan are blaming each other of violating the ceasefire between the two countries since 5 March. The situation has been further inflamed by a gas supply cut in Nagorno-Karabakh in freezing cold weather.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Observer account in Twitter says the first reported violation in recent days was reported by the Azerbaijani defence ministry, which blamed Karabakh Armenian forces of firing on Azerbaijani army positions in Gülülstan, a town bordering Karabakh.

Since then, the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have alleged that Azerbaijani forces have shelled the villages of Khramort, Norshen, and Khnushinak. Cameraman Tigran Gasparyan has published pictures of a Khramort resident reportedly wounded by a mortar shell.

At the same time, the gas pipeline supplying gas to Karabakh has been damaged, leaving the territory’s more than 100,000 inhabitants without supplies. The damaged section is under Azerbaijani control. According to the Foreign Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, David Babayan, negotiations have been held with the participation of Russian peacekeepers stationed in the area to allow for the repair of the pipeline.

Since November 2020, a contingent of almost 2,000 Russian peacekeeping troops have controlled the perimeter of Nagorno-Karabakh.

This self-proclaimed Armenian-majority republic has been demanding recognition as an independent state since 1991. Its territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani authorities refuse to negotiate any status for Karabakh.