In the conflict over the South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of violating a ceasefire that was only a few hours old. “The enemy” fired artillery shells and rockets, said a spokeswoman for the Armenian Defense Ministry on Sunday night on the online service Twitter. Azerbaijan did not initially comment on the allegations.
The two conflicting parties had only agreed on a “humanitarian ceasefire” on Saturday evening. This should apply from midnight. A ceasefire has been in place since last week, but the fighting continued.
The conflict, which had been going on for decades, flared up again at the end of September after a period of relative calm. Hundreds of people have been killed, including dozens of civilians, since the fighting began.
Conflict could turn into proxy war
Nagorno-Karabakh had unilaterally declared its independence during the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was followed by a war with 30,000 dead in the 1990s. The self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is still not recognized internationally and is considered part of Azerbaijan under international law. Most of it is inhabited by Armenians.
Observers fear that the conflict could develop into a proxy war between Russia and Turkey in the Caucasus. Turkey supports neighboring Azerbaijan in the conflict. Russia has good relations with both sides, but is considered to be Armenia’s military protective power. (apa)