Armenian-Azerbaijani Border Clashes: The Russian Dimension and Beyond – Jamestown

Following the outbreak of deadly Armenian-Azerbaijani border clashes on July 12 (see EDM, July 14, 16, 20 [1][2]), Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom reported that its local natural gas pipelines in Armenia were damaged, due to the shelling (TASS, RBC, July 14). Furthermore, the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) announced a meeting, at the request of Yerevan, which was soon postponed to an indefinite future date (, July 13). Both reports were almost certainly intended to serve as delicate warnings to Baku from Moscow.

On July 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov, respectively, and called for an immediate ceasefire. Lavrov warned all members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group, which is mediating the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, against making “declarations or actions that could provoke a further escalation of tensions”—most likely alluding to Turkey (, July 16). A week earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had lambasted the Minsk Group co-chairs (Russia, France and the United States) in an unusually explicit manner for what he described as their ineffectiveness and alleged pro-Armenian bias (, July 6).
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