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EU monitors deny Azerbaijani claims of Armenian border buildup

An Armenian soldier on the border with Azerbaijan in the southern Syunik Province. Photo: Tom Videlo/OC Media.

The EU Monitoring Mission has denied claims from Azerbaijan that Armenia is amassing troops on the border.

On Sunday, the mission stated that the situation on the border was ‘calm and quiet’ after having patrolled the border ‘all day long’.

Later that day, the EU’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar reposted the observer mission’s statement, adding that the mission was open to more engagement with Azerbaijan.

Earlier on Sunday, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence accused Armenia of mobilising troops and weaponry towards the border.

‘Recently, the concentration of manpower, armoured vehicles, artillery installations, and other heavy firepower of the Armenian armed forces and intensive movement of its troops in different directions of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conditional border is observed’, read the ministry’s statement.

They also accused Armenia of revanchism and escalating its ‘aggressive rhetoric against Azerbaijan’ and of propagating ‘provocative information focused on aggravating the situation in the information environment in preparation for sabotage attempts’.

‘We once again declare that Armenia and its protectors will bear whole responsibility for the aggravation of the situation and any possible provocation’, concluded the Azerbaijani ministry’s statement.


Armenia’s Defence Ministry denied the accusations a few hours later, stating that ‘a number of Telegram channels’ had portrayed convoy drills carried out by the Armenian Army as ‘military movement towards the border’.

‘The [Armenian] Ministry of Defence assesses the recent operational situation on the Armenian–Azerbaijani state border as stable and does not perceive the need to implement additional measures to protect the border’, stated the ministry.

On Monday evening, Azerbaijan again accused Armenia of continuing to ‘concentrate its troops’ on the border, with the Defence Ministry publishing footage ‘recorded by special technical means and visual observation’ purportedly showing Armenian forces transporting artillery systems and constructing reinforced concrete fortifications at the border.

Armenia has yet to react to Azerbaijan’s latest accusations on Monday.

It comes as tensions continue along the border. On Saturday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan again warned that Azerbaijan was seeking pretexts to begin a new war, referring to four Azerbaijani villages that have been under Armenian control since the 1990s.

Azerbaijan’s strained relationship with the West

Azerbaijan’s accusations, and their rebuttal by the EU, came a week after Baku criticised the EU, along with the US and Armenia, for planning to hold a meeting in Brussels without their presence.

[Read more: Outrage in Azerbaijan over planned EU and US meeting with Armenia]

At the time, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizade accused Brussels and Washington of bias towards Yerevan and of spreading ‘anti-Azerbaijani propaganda’.

US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller responded that the meeting was to discuss ‘economic resilience to help Armenia diversify its trade partnerships and address humanitarian needs’.

‘I fail to see why that would be escalatory or would be of a concern to any country in the world’, said Miller. 

Peter Stano, the EU Affairs and Security Policy spokesperson, also stressed that the meeting would be focused on the ‘sustainability of Armenia’s economy’ and not on providing it with ‘security guarantees’.

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