Azerbaijan on Sunday denied claims by Russia that the Azerbaijani army had withdrawn its troops from a village in Karabakh and that it had violated a cease-fire agreement.
“There have been no changes in the positions of the Azerbaijan Army in the village of Farrukh and on the surrounding high grounds, which are part of the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan,“ the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“The information about the withdrawal of the Azerbaijani army units from those positions does not reflect the truth. Our army is in full control of the operational situation," it added.
The Azerbaijani armed forces regained full control over the village, clearing it of illegal Armenian armed groups, who had to leave Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territories in Karabakh under a cease-fire deal signed by Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia on Nov. 10, 2020.
The ministry also denied the Russian Defense Ministry’s claim that Azerbaijan had violated the cease-fire in Karabakh and pointed out that “no cases of injuries among Azerbaijani servicemen have been recorded.”
It noted that the expression “Nagorno-Karabakh" was used in recent statements of the Russian Defense Ministry.
“The use of the expression ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’ in the statements of the Russian Ministry of Defense dated March 26 and 27 is disrespectful to the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which is recognized and accepted by the international community, including the Russian Federation.”
“We remind you once again that there is no administrative and territorial unit called ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’ in the territory of Azerbaijan.” it stressed.
Referring to a declaration on allied interaction between Azerbaijan and Russia which was signed in February 2022, It underlined:
“The statement of the Russian Ministry of Defense also demonstrates disrespect towards the declaration signed by the President of the Russian Federation, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin."
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, with the Armenian army attacking civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violating several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and around 300 settlements and villages that had been occupied by Armenia for almost 30 years.
The fighting ended with a Russian-brokered agreement on Nov. 10, 2020, which was seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.
In January 2021, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia signed a pact to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region. It also included the establishment of a trilateral working group on Karabakh.
Despite the cease-fire agreement, Armenian forces periodically fire on positions of the Azerbaijani army, according to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.