Azerbaijan rejects allegations on targeting EU observers’ vehicles
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry rejected Armenia’s claims that its forces fired on EU observers’ vehicles in the Karabakh region on Tuesday, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.
“On August 15, at around 12:20 p.m. (0820GMT), the information spread in Armenian media resources about the shooting by the units of the Azerbaijani Army in the direction of EU observers and their car in the area of Yukhari Shorja settlement of Basarkechar district is not true,” said a statement issued by the ministry.
The statement said the allegations made were “another disinformation” attempt by the Armenian side.
The time, route, and registration number plates of the cars used by the EU mission were shared with Azerbaijan in advance, and Baku was aware of the mission’s trips, it added.
“For this reason, it is theoretically and practically impossible for such a situation to occur as claimed by the Armenian Ministry of Defense,” the statement concluded.
The European Union’s border monitoring mission in Armenia said Tuesday one of its patrols had come under fire on the volatile border.
“No EUMA member was harmed,” the EU Mission in Armenia (EUMA) said on social media, confirming its personnel were “present to the shooting incident in our area of responsibility.”
The EU established a civilian mission in Armenia on the country’s border with neighboring Azerbaijan back in February.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered peace agreement.
Despite ongoing talks over a long-term peace agreement, tensions between the neighboring countries rose in recent months over the Lachin corridor, the only land route giving Armenia access to Karabakh.