Armenia to seek Russian military deployment

Tensions rise on border with Azerbaijan.

July 29, 2021 10:35 pm | Updated 10:35 pm IST - Yerevan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday he would request the deployment of Russian border guards along his country’s frontier with Azerbaijan to prevent further escalation after new clashes.

Last year Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The conflict claimed some 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede territories it had controlled for decades.

In recent months tensions have been running high over the two countries’ shared border.

On Wednesday, three Armenian soldiers were killed in fresh border clashes with Azerbaijani forces, in some of the heaviest fighting between the Caucasus rivals since last year’s war.

Addressing a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Mr. Pashinyan said he wanted to ask Moscow for more help.

“I think it makes sense to consider the question of stationing outposts of Russian border guards along the entire stretch of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman declined to comment on Mr. Pashinyan’s planned proposal. “Contacts with Yerevan are continuing, I have nothing more to say,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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