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Live updates: Nagorno-Karabakh fighting continues for 18th day

14 October 2020

Fighting is continuing for the 18th day over Nagorno-Karabakh, despite a ceasefire being agreed in Moscow.

[The news as it happened: 27 September, 28 September, 29 September, 30 September, 1 October, 2 October, 3 October, 4 October, 5 October, 6 October, 7 October, 8 October, 9 October, 10 October, 11 October, 12 October, 13 October]

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 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

14 Oct 2020, 18:34

Nagorno-Karabakh accuses Azerbaijan of targeting hospital

The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have accused Azerbaijan of targeting a hospital in the ‘northeastern direction’ where civilians are being treated.

Azerbaijan has denied the report stating that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces ‘do not fire on civilian infrastructure and strictly adhere to the ceasefire’.

14 Oct 2020, 18:13

Chairperson of the Federation Council calls for an end to statements that ‘add fuel to the fire’

Chairperson of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matviyenko has called for an end to all provocative statements that ‘add fuel to the fire’ to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

‘We need to stop all provocative statements from one side and the other, which do not allow us to somehow stabilize the situation’, she said. 

Matviyenko reiterated that not only Russia, but also the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, France, and the United States) are calling for a solution to the conflict by means of negotiation.

14 Oct 2020, 18:13

Armenian media reports that a child was injured in Azerbaijani drone strike in Gegharkunik 

Armenian media report that a child was injured in Armenia’s Gegharkunik province as the result of an Azerbaijani drone strike this morning.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence has denied carrying out the attack, stating that ‘UAVs in service with the Azerbaijan Army are used only against the military equipment of the Armenian armed forces temporarily deployed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.’

14 Oct 2020, 16:30

Nagorno-Karabakh Human Rights Defender: 31 civilians have died as of 12 October

According to a report published by the Nagorno-Karabakh Human Rights Defender, as of 12 October, 31 civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh have been killed and 106 injured. 

14 Oct 2020, 15:56

Peskov: Russian military verifying information on Azerbaijani strikes on Armenian territory

Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, told journalists that Russian military personnel are currently verifying information about Azerbaijani strikes on Armenian territory. 

14 Oct 2020, 15:45

Aliyev: Azerbaijan 'successfully continues liberation operation’, meanwhile MOD states armed forces are ‘observing’ ceasefire

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in an interview with Turkish TV channel Haber Türk on 13 October said that Azerbaijan 'successfully continues our liberation operation’.

‘Once again, the Azerbaijani Army conducted a successful operation along the entire frontline and liberated several towns and villages from occupation. And our liberation operation continues successfully. And as I was told this morning, the Azerbaijani Army has made greater strides in this direction’, he said in the interview released today. 

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence stated this morning that ‘the troops of the Azerbaijan Army’ are ‘observing the humanitarian ceasefire regime’. 

After Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on a ceasefire on Saturday, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov stated at a briefing on 10 October that there is no information on the duration of the humanitarian ceasefire and that the agreement document does not specify any period. 

According to him, the time to be specified by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which will conduct the exchange of bodies of dead people and prisoners. 

On Tuesday, ICRC urged Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday to finalise arrangements to handle an exchange of detainees and bodies. 

‘To date we keep discussing intensely with the sides on this topic. But no meaningful agreement has been reached yet that will allow us to actually proceed to such an exchange’, Martin Schuepp, ICRC Eurasia regional director, said at a news briefing in Geneva, adding that it was passing proposals ‘back and forth’.

14 Oct 2020, 14:59

Pashinyan delivers address to the nation

In an address to the nation, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan along with praise towards Armenian soldiers and the diaspora, Pashinyan also hailed ‘active efforts by Russia and the international community’ to stop the fighting. 

He accused Azerbaijan of using the ceasefire as an opportunity to intensify military action. ‘The adversary managed to dig itself in at a number of areas, secure the upper hand in other sections and day-by-day, move the frontline deeper’. 

He said that Armenia remains ‘ready to fulfil [its] responsibility for the humanitarian ceasefire without any preconditions and later continue the negotiations for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.’

He added that while at the moment ‘peaceful settlement’ of the conflict is impossible, it is not too ‘too late’ and that it is Azerbaijan that has chosen the path of active war.

He also stated that he is against a process that involves Armenian withdrawal from the occupied territories without a ruling on Nagorno-Karabakh’s status.  Any negotiations that ‘implied’ Nagorno-Karabakh would be at any point ‘part of Azerbaijan’ were unacceptable, he said. 

‘The status of Nagorno-Karabakh should not be associated with the transfer of territories.’ 

14 Oct 2020, 13:02

Aliyev threatens ‘heavy response’ if it Armenia attacks pipelines

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has stated that if Armenia ‘wants to implement plans to derail’ Azerbaijan’s oil and gas pipelines, the response ‘will be very heavy’.

In an interview with Turkish TV channel Haber Türk, he said Azerbaijan had ‘made our warning on the subject.’ 

‘European countries that will start to buy gas through TANAP in 2021 should also warn Armenia. Because TANAP is not only our project. TANAP has other stakeholders’, he said.

On 12 October, the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) was complete. Talking about it, Aliyev noted that TAP had European stakeholders and was ‘an exceptionally important project for Europe’s energy security’. 

‘This is why we should all be interested in this project to avoid any damage’, he said, adding that Azerbaijan had not ‘received any phone calls about this’.

14 Oct 2020, 12:39

Lavrov: Russian government positively views the deployment of observers to Nagorno-Karabakh

Speaking with Russian media today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underlined the need for a ceasefire verification mechanism in Nagorno-Karabakh. He also stated that the Russian government views positively the deployment of Russian observers to Nagorno-Karabakh, so long as that is supported both by Yerevan and Baku.

He also stated that Russia strongly disagrees with Turkey and Azerbaijan that there is a military solution to the conflict. ‘It is our view that a peaceful resolution of the conflict is not only possible, but it is the only way to achieve a lasting solution’. 


14 Oct 2020, 12:11

Russian MoD urges Armenia and Azerbaijan to implement Moscow ceasefire agreements

Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu held phone conversations with the Defence Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and urged them to fully implement the obligations reached by the parties in Moscow on 10 October, Ria News reports citing a statement by Russia’s Ministry of Defense.

14 Oct 2020, 12:00

Biden condemns Trump for inaction on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

US presidential candidate Joe Biden has released a statement in which he condemned the ‘collapse of the October 10 ceasefire and the resumption of fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh’. 

He condemned the Trump administrations ‘largely passive’ and ‘disengaged’ position towards the conflict, and called on Washington to ‘get more involved, at the highest levels’ to ‘de-escalate the fighting and return the two sides to negotiations’. 

He added that ‘the Trump Administration must tell Azerbaijan that it will not tolerate its efforts to impose a military solution to this conflict’ and that ‘it must make clear to Armenia that regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be occupied indefinitely’.

He called for ‘credible negotiations on a lasting resolution of the conflict’ to begin immediately after a ceasefire is concluded. He also condemned ‘Turkey’s provision of arms to Azerbaijan and bellicose rhetoric encouraging a military solution’ and called on both Turkey and Iran to stay out of the conflict. 

14 Oct 2020, 11:44

Azerbaijani military confirms strike on territory of Armenia

The Azerbaijani armed forces have carried out a strike on military equipment that was located in Armenia, on the border with Armenian-controlled Kalbajar (Karvachar). While Armenia has claimed that the Azerbaijani military carried out strikes on Armenian territory previously, this is the first time that the Azerbaijani military has confirmed striking targets outside of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence confirmed the information stating that the rocket complex near Kalbajar was destroyed because they were ‘in a state of launch’. According to the Ministry, the rockets targeted ‘Ganja, Mingachevir and other cities in order to cause casualties among civilians and damage civilian infrastructure’. 

‘There was no civilian infrastructure or facilities in the areas where the missiles were fired’, they added.

Armenian Ministry of Defence Spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan condemned the strike, stating that it was carried out ‘only on the assumption that the equipment was ready to strike at peaceful settlements of Azerbaijan’. She added that ‘from now on, the Armenian armed forces reserve the right to attack any military object or military movement in Azerbaijan. The military-political leadership of Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for the process of changing the logic of the war zone’.  

Stepanyan reports that there were no deaths or injuries. 

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