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Caucasian aggravation. Why are Yerevan and Baku took up arms

On the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan fighting. While the sides accuse each other of escalating violence, Russia, US and UN urged to stop fighting. What is happening and what is the cause of the conflict, understood to RIA Novosti.

Nagorno — Karabakh-are still the hot spot in the South Caucasus. Negotiations in a format specially created in the nineties of the OSCE Minsk group ended large-scale fighting. But skirmishes on the line of contact happen. Baku considers Nagorno-Karabakh part of Azerbaijan. Yerevan helps the breakaway Republic, where most of the population are ethnic Armenians, and insists on the independent from Baku to the status of Artsakh (the Armenian name of the territory).

A fierce clash occurred in 2016. Four days did not stop shelling. For the first time in thirty years, the enemies used tanks and combat aircraft.

The OSCE Minsk group, with the active participation of Russia, France and the United States put the conflicting parties at the negotiating table. The fire stopped, but tensions remained. In the period of the pandemic on the line of contact has introduced enhanced security measures. Waited for provocations.

And waited. Day 12 July between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops erupted the largest in the last four years of armed conflict — but not in Nagorno-Karabakh and on the border of the two countries. We are talking about the area between Tovuzsky district of Azerbaijan and Armenia's Tavush region of Armenia.

According to Yerevan, the incident was provoked by the Azerbaijanis: approached the Armenian territories in the UAZ and started firing. In Baku said that just the Armenian side "flagrantly violated the ceasefire".

The next day, the Azerbaijani authorities said the shelling by Armenian Armed forces of the border villages of Aghdam and Alibeyli of Tovuz district. Yerevan has accused Baku in an artillery strike on the town of Berd. The fighting went on for three days, killing not only military but also civilians.

Reported that people are leaving the house. But the inhabitants of the Armenian village of Paravakar and Azerbaijani Agdam is denied: civilian objects not under fire, a serious threat to the population there.

The aggravation at the border said the leaders of the two countries. Ilham Aliyev pointed out Yerevan's attempts to seize part of Azerbaijan. Nikol Pashinyan, in turn, promised to "not leave unanswered the provocations of Baku."

About a thousand people took to the Central streets of Baku. Waving national flags, chanted "Karabakh is ours!", "Glory to the army," "Soldiers, forward."

The procession was accompanied by law enforcement officers. When the demonstrators tried to enter the Parliament building, police used water cannons. Now the capital of Azerbaijan peacefully.

Border clashes condemned in the UN. The Secretary-General antónio Guterres called for "immediate cessation of hostilities".

Sergei Lavrov spoke on the phone with colleagues in Baku and Yerevan, stressed the need for a peaceful solution of the problem.

"Russia will continue to carry out mediation in the contacts with Baku and Yerevan both in its national capacity and within the co-chairmanship in the Minsk group of the OSCE," — said the Russian foreign Ministry.

Responded and in the state Department: "the United States as a Minsk group co-chair is committed to assisting the parties in resolving the conflict. We believe it is necessary to secure the return of observers to the region".

Research fellow, Centre for regional studies of the Academy of public administration of Armenia johnny Melikyan suggested that border problems between the States of the South Caucasus is inevitable.

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have remained within the administrative boundaries of the Soviet republics. Still open questions final fixing of the state border. It provokes controversy. Countries strengthen the borders and create strong points, from my own observations and existing maps," he explains.

In the area of the recent conflict is just located the Armenian stronghold. But Baku could not know about its existence, does not exclude the political scientist: "Azerbaijan's military found it in Tavush region and tried to take control of this strategically important heights".

Melikyan is convinced that Armenians are not caught by surprise. Surprising was rather the fact that clashes occurred at the border of the two countries.

"In Yerevan several months followed, as the official Baku deploys militaristic rhetoric. Public opinion was prepared for the fact that soon there will come hour IKS and Baku force will return Nagorno-Karabakh. Near the line of contact carried out military exercises. Now Azerbaijan is posing as a victim and Armenia the aggressor," says Melikyan.

If border tensions will persist, and worsen the situation in the zone of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"To prevent the negative scenario, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group, and above all Russia, should step in and resolve the matter peacefully. Otherwise, the inevitable new incidents," — said the expert.

Political analyst, specialist on the South Caucasus Nurlan Gasimov believes border clashes the most controversial event after the end of Karabakh war.

"Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan has clarified, what tasks are performed by the military. In Baku, said that the Armenian side tried to capture the important heights in the Azerbaijani sector, but the plan failed. Yerevan claims that one of these heights above the village of Agdam in Tovuz district still taken", — said the expert.

In Azerbaijan, the most common version — the Armenians deliberately committed a provocation outside the zone of the Karabakh conflict. According to the analyst, the intent that the contradictions of the two countries actively intervened Russia and the CSTO.

"But Moscow has repeatedly demonstrated a balanced position. Now in Yerevan and Baku broken phones. Russian authorities urged to stop the confrontation," adds Jordan.

Another version, popular in Baku: on the background of the difficulties of the dialogue between Moscow Pashinyan of the Armenian authorities want to shift to the West.

"In Azerbaijan believe that the Prime Minister shows to the citizens that in a difficult period for the country Moscow has no allied assistance. So the community are likely to worsen anti-Russian sentiment and sympathy to Europe with US," explains Jordan.

The main problem and the reason for the rumors, he sees that the authorities did not give full information. It leads to new speculation that confuse the matter.