As Azeri and Armenian forces continue fighting, EU fears escalation

Azerbaijan said Armenians attacked its military units from seven different locations on Monday, but the attacks were repelled.

From ZamanThe Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that tensions between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces is continuing to mount, as fierce fighting persisted between the two nations on Monday and early Tuesday.

Armenian forces opened fire from their positions in Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions on Azerbaijani military units in Tovuz, Goranboy, Khojavend, Terter, Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Aghdam on Monday and early Tuesday. The Defense Ministry said no casualties had been reported. The Armenian Defense Ministry did not comment on the border skirmishes until late Wednesday.

Two Azerbaijani soldiers were killed on Saturday in a border skirmish with Armenian forces in the province of Terter. On Tuesday of last week, three Armenian and two Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in an exchange of gunfire along the northern Nagorno-Karabakh frontline. (via EUCOM)

From Matt Robinson, ReutersPeter Semneby, the EU’s envoy to the South Caucasus, said the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenian-backed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh should be strengthened, possibly with the deployment of more international observers after a summer of intensified skirmishes. Four Azeri soldiers were killed last week.

Renewed conflict almost certainly would have an impact on energy supplies to the West, with Azerbaijan host to oil majors including BP (BP.L), ExxonMobil (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N). …

"I think that both sides are very much aware of the risks and costs of an escalation … but there’s always the risk that something can go out of hand," Semneby told Reuters late on Tuesday in Tbilisi after a trip to Azerbaijan. …

"I think the ceasefire regime needs to be strengthened."

Semneby said one possibility would be to deploy more observers, saying the six-person monitoring mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was limited in its ability to monitor and investigate. …

"This summer we have seen the most serious skirmishes along the line of contact for more than two years," said Semneby.  (photo: Iranian PressTV)

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