Azerbaijan army violated the Armenian border in Syunik
On May 12, the Azerbaijani armed forces crossed the border in the area of Sev Lich (Black Lake), advancing 3.5 kilometres into the internationally recognised territory of Armenia. Armenian Prime minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that by doing that, Baku is trying to establish control over the lake.
On May 13, the Armenian Defense Ministry reported that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, “under the pretext of clarifying the borders, undertook another attempt to infiltrate the sovereign territory of Armenia” trying to advance their positions in the Vardenis region (Gegharkunik region) where they were stopped by Armenian Army which demanded that the Azerbaijani troops retreat immediately to their initial positions.
“This is a planned provocation from Azerbaijan. They (Azerbaijani servicemen) have fake maps, which supposedly should confirm that the lake belongs to them, but these are obviously fake documents. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces must return to the positions from which they began to advance,” said Pashinyan.
On May 14, following several days of silence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan announced that Azerbaijani border guards were just changing their deployment in the Lachin and Kelbadjar Districts bordering on Armenia.
Meanwhile, on May 13, Armenia asked the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to respond to Azerbaijan violating its sovereign territory. “As the situation develops, if necessary, actions will be taken under the provisions of the Collective Security Treaty and the CSTO Charter,” responded CSTO in its statement.
On Friday, May 14, Yerevan said that Azerbaijan had failed to fulfil a promise in full to withdraw troops that had crossed the border in a disputed incident and that it had sought Russia’s military help. “Yesterday, an agreement was reached that today Azerbaijan’s armed forces should leave Armenian territory,” the Interfax news agency quoted Armenia’s caretaker prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, as saying at a meeting about the border. “This agreement has been partially fulfilled; there are territories that the Azerbaijanis did indeed leave. But, since the agreement was not fulfilled completely, today I have approached the President of Russia…for military assistance,” he added.
The prolonged presence of Azerbaijani forces on Armenian territory sparked a wave of contempt abroad. French President Emmanuel Macron posted in Armenian to demand the withdrawal of Azerbaijani forces from Armenian territory. “Azerbaijani armed forces have crossed into Armenian territory. They must be withdrawn immediately. I tell the Armenian people once again that France stands in solidarity with you and will continue to do so,” Macron said in a Facebook post.
Also, United States Congresswoman Jackie Speier has called on Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to pressure Azerbaijan to pull back its troops from Armenian territory. “Azerbaijan’s actions are an invasion of Armenian territory & threaten regional stability. I call on @SecBlinken to condemn Azerbaijan’s violation of Armenia’s sovereignty and pressure Azerbaijan to withdraw its forces immediately,” Speier tweeted.
Armenian-Azerbaijani talks on the situation in Syunik held on May 15 failed to yield any results, and Azerbaijani forces remained in their positions.