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Azerbaijan says Russian statement on Karabakh skirmish ‘distorts facts’, ‘spreads false information’

Azerbaijan says Russian statement on Karabakh skirmish ‘distorts facts’, ‘spreads false information’

 
- Presenting Armenian military personnel, equipped with weapons, ammunition, as police officers performing ‘passport, visa’ services is nothing but hypocrisy, says Defense Ministry
 

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Azerbaijan said a statement by the Russia on the recent skirmish with Armenian forces that killed two of its own servicemen in the Karabakh region “distorted the facts” and “spread false information” on the events.

“On March 5, on the basis of operative information, an attempt was made by units of the Azerbaijan Army to stop and check the vehicle of the Armenian military units carrying out illegal military transports from Armenia. While approaching the vehicle, our servicemen were fired with automatic weapons by the members of the Armenian armed group inside the vehicle, as a result of which two servicemen were killed and one was injured,” a statement by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said late Monday.

Noting that the Armenian military units were “fully equipped with weapons and ammunition,” the statement said the Russian Defense Ministry's presentation of the units as “police officers performing ‘passport and visa’ services” is “nothing but hypocrisy.”

“The information spread about the provision of first aid and evacuation by representatives of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to our servicemen injured as a result of the incident does not reflect the truth. The evacuation of our martyrs and wounded soldiers from the area was carried out by our military personnel,” the statement further said.

The statement also noted that Yerevan continues to deliver military supplies to armed Armenian groups in the Karabakh region despite provisions under the cease-fire agreement between Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia, adding that the Russian peacekeeping contingent temporarily stationed in the region should “fulfill its duties” to “immediately prevent such unacceptable situations.”

The transportation of military supplies to Karabakh by Armenia, as well as the sending and rotation of personnel from the Armenian Armed Forces to the region should be "immediately and once and for all stopped," it added, noting that Armenian troops should also completely withdraw from Azerbaijani territory.

“Otherwise, the Azerbaijani side will be forced to take absolutely necessary measures in the direction of disarming and neutralizing illegal armed forces using all possibilities. Such acts of Armenia are considered as continuation of military aggression,” the statement said, further reiterating Baku’s calls to establish a security checkpoint on the Lachin road, which connects Armenia to Karabakh.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation. The Russian-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.

 
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