Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday asked Russian President Putin to start “urgent” consultations on providing security amid a conflict with Azerbaijan after fresh talks did not agree a ceasefire.Pasninyan sent the letter to Putin after Armenia and Azerbaijan did not agree a fresh ceasefire within the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during talks in Geneva on Friday and as fighting continued overnight and Saturday morning.
The announcement, released by the Armenian foreign ministry, raised fears of an escalation in fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Some observers are concerned it risks sucking Yerevan’s ally Russia and Turkey, which backs Baku, into the conflict.Armenia and Azerbaijan are engaged in fierce fighting for quite a month over Nagorno-Karabakh, a neighborhood of Azerbaijan controlled by Armenian separatists within the wake of the break-up of the Soviet Union .
The flare-up of the conflict has left quite thousand dead, with world powers thus far unable to influence either side to prevent fighting.
Russia features a military base in Armenia and features a defence treaty with Yerevan.“The prime minister of Armenia has asked the Russian president to start urgent consultations with the aim of determining the type and amount of aid which the Russia can provide Armenia to make sure its security,” the foreign ministry in Yerevan said during a statement.
Russia has previously said that its defence pact with Armenia doesn't reach the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.But Pashinyan in his letter to Putin said that hostilities were getting closer to Armenia’s borders and reiterated that Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey was backing Baku, consistent with the statement.He requested Moscow’s help, invoking the 2 countries’ close ties and a 1997 treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.
Armenian officials didn't provide further details when reached by AFP.“One step closer to a wider war?,” tweeted Carey Cavanaugh, a former US ambassador and co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group.Armenian political analyst Hakob Badalyan told AFP that he didn't rule out that Pashinyan’s plea for help was “for now a political step to worry Russia’s role during this region”.Hikmet Hajiyev, an aide to the Azerbaijani president, told AFP Baku wouldn't comment.On Friday, mediators from France, Russia and therefore the US said during a statement from Geneva that the warring sides had committed to “not deliberately target civilian populations or non-military objects in accordance with international humanitarian law”
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