Clashes erupt between Azerbaijan and Armenia days after Nagorno-Karabakh referendum

  • Giorgio Sirtori
  • 28.2.2017 14:21

On 25 February, armed clashes broke out between Armenian and Azeri forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area, leaving several soldiers killed. The military confrontation came only days after Armenian separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh held a referendum on 20 February that changed the name of the unrecognised entity to the Republic of Artsakh.

Through official statements, both parties blamed each other of having violated the truce. The new denomination of the area, Artsakh, implies new claims over other Azerbaijani territories. Tensions in the area remained high since April 2016, when dozens were killed in heavy fighting. In May 2016, a mediation led by the Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States, brought to a ceasefire in compliance with 1994-1995 accords. On 27 February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Armenian President Sargsyan and urged both parties to return to the negotiating table. As the referendum generated opposed reactions by Armenia and Azerbaijan, increasing clashes are expected.

About author: Giorgio Sirtori

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