As a result of the latest escalation
on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan decided to ask Moscow to invoke and "put into action" articles of a Russian-Armenian treaty on mutual defence.
It also requested assistance from the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and the UN Security Council. The appeal followed a phone call between Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which they discussed the heavy fighting.
Russia has a military base in Gyumri, Armenia. Some of its troops were redeployed closer to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border following the latest war in 2020 over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The two leaders met last week on the sidelines of an economic forum in Vladivostok, Russia. Speaking at the summit, Pashinyan warned that Azerbaijan could soon provoke another escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. In his turn, Putin said
they are "constantly talking to Pashinyan about this issue, and we are in constant contact",
The Armenian Ministry of Defence reported the heavy shelling of internationally recognised Armenia territories by Azerbaijan at midnight on September 13. According to the ministry, Azerbaijan was using heavy artillery and drones. The situation on the contact line remains "tense", authorities report.
"On September 13, at 00:05, units of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces began to fire intensively at the Armenian positions in the direction of Goris, Sotk and Jermuk from artillery and large-calibre firearms,"a spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Defence, Aram Torosyan, posted on Facebook. One of the locations under attack, Vardenis, is just two hours drive from Yerevan, the capital.
Torosyan also said that there were casualties but didn't give a number. He also claimed that "in some directions, Azerbaijani troops are trying to advance toward Armenian territory." As a result, some villages have been evacuating women and children.
Azerbaijan accused Armenia of carrying out a large-scale provocation in the Dashkesan, Kalbajar and Lachin directions of the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border. Officials said there were casualties on the Azerbaijani side but did not say how many.
Torosyan denied those claims, insisting that the fighting was initiated by "Azerbaijan's military-political leadership". He said that the Azerbaijani military laid the "information groundwork" for it during the past few days.
Baku has alleged daily ceasefire violations along the frontier following the August 31 meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian held in Brussels.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought their last large-scale war in 2020 over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The latter is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated by ethnic Armenians. In 2020 Azerbaijan won back most of the lost territories in the 1990s war. The 2020 war ended by Russia brokering a ceasefire and placing some 2,000 peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh. The current escalation is not occurring in Nagorno-Karabakh but in Armenia.