There have been calls from across the international community for Armenia and Azerbaijan to show restraint and move towards constructive negotiations on all outstanding issues between them, following incidents in the last days which have left several casualties.
Read more on the incidents on our Karabakhspace.eu page here
The Armenian Ministry of Defence on Wednesday morning (17 November) issued a statement in which it said that one Armenian soldier was killed in action and 13 others were taken captive by the Azerbaijani military. Another 24 Armenian troops are reported missing-in-action after contact with them was lost during combat.
“Intensive works are underway to find the servicemen. Two military positions have gone under adversary control. Russian-mediated negotiations are ongoing over resolving the situation and returning the captured Armenian servicemen”, the statement said.
Azerbaijan has so far said that two of its servicemen were injured but Armenia says the number of casualties on the Azerbaijani side is much higher.
Read more on the latest casualty figures on KarabakSpace.eu here
The EU was among a number of governments and international organisations appealing for an immediate cease fire and return to negotiations.
A statement by the spokesperson of the EU on Wednesday said the EU is deeply concerned over the recent violence along the Armenia-Azerbaijani border, which has regrettably led to loss of life. The statement said:
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, discussed the evolving situation with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, and the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, over the phone and called for urgent de-escalation and full respect of the ceasefire.
The EU urges Armenia and Azerbaijan to exercise utmost restraint, disengage their military forces on the ground and respect the commitments undertaken in the framework of the two trilateral agreements. We call on both sides to resume negotiations to work towards a comprehensive settlement of outstanding issues, including border demarcation.
The EU supports the statement of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs of 15 November. The EU reiterates its commitment to work with Armenia and Azerbaijan to help overcome tensions and contribute to building a South Caucasus that is secure, stable, prosperous and at peace for the benefit of all people living in this region.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier led a chorus of international appeals for an immediate end to hostilities and a return to negotiations.
“The United States is deeply concerned about reports of intensive fighting today between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We urge both sides to take immediate concrete steps to reduce tensions and avoid further escalation. We also call on the sides to engage directly and constructively to resolve all outstanding issues, including border demarcation.
As noted in the Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ statement on November 15, the recent increase in tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan underscores the need for a negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement of all remaining issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno Karabakh conflict”, the statement says.
Earlier, Russia said that following the intervention of its Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who spoke with his counterparts in the two countries on the phone, the cease fire had now been restored.
On Tuesday (16 November) Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan also held a conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
According to statement from the Kremlin "during the phone call, initiated by Armenia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan discussed the situation following a number of incidents on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border," the statement reads.
According to the Kremlin press service, Putin and Pashinyan agreed to remain in contact on the matter.