Pashinyan asks Putin for military aid amid tensions at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border

Following the emergence of a new crisis at the border with Azerbaijan, Armenia’s Acting Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, says he has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for military assistance, Interfax reported on May 14.

Pashinyan reported on May 12 that Azerbaijani forces had crossed the Armenian border near Sev Lake and advanced up to 3.5 kilometers (about 2 miles) into Armenia. Azerbaijan responded with a statement about taking measures to protect the border. 

According to Pashinyan, an agreement was reached on May 13, stipulating that Azerbaijan’s military personnel would withdraw from Armenian territory the next day. The agreement was fulfilled only partially, Pashinyan said.

“There are territories that the Azerbaijanis left. But since the agreement hasn’t been implemented fully, today I appealed to the President of Russia in accordance with the Treaty of friendship, collaboration, and mutual aid from 1997 and Treaty on the grouping of Armenian-Russian forces to provide military assistance to Armenia.”

Pashinyan also appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in connection with the border escalation. He added that France is ready to provide military assistance in resolving the crisis within the framework of the UN mandate.

The Sev Lake is located between Armenia’s Syunik Province and the Lachin District, which was under the control of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from 1992–2020. The Azerbaijani military captured the region during an armed conflict in the fall of 2020.

According to the ceasefire agreement reached last November, Armenia was to transfer the Lachin district over to Azerbaijan. The Lachin corridor, which connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia, is guarded by Russian peacekeepers. The peace treaty also envisioned a corridor through the Syunik Province, connecting Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan — an Azerbaijani enclave. 

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