The EU urges both sides to stop the armed confrontation, refrain from action and rhetoric that provoke tension, and undertake immediate measures to prevent further escalation, Trend reports referring to the EU’s statement.
“On 12-13 July 2020, both Armenia and Azerbaijan reported a serious incident at their bilateral border, involving the use of heavy weapons. It has sadly led to the loss of lives. In this context, both sides should make use of their mechanism for direct communication, the established format led by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, as well as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. This serious ceasefire violation highlights the urgency of resuming the OSCE monitoring on the ground, as soon as conditions allow,” the statement said.
The statement also said that the EU calls on the sides to strictly respect the ceasefire, devote energy and resources to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, meaningfully re-engage in substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and prepare their populations for peace.
Starting from noon on July 12, units of the armed forces of Armenia, grossly violating the ceasefire in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district along the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, opened artillery fire at Azerbaijani positions.
Azerbaijan's armed response forced the Armenian army to retreat suffering losses.
Azerbaijan's sergeant of military service Vugar Sadigov and corporal Elshad Mammadov, died while repelling the attack of the Armenian armed forces. Another serviceman, Khayyam Dashdemirov died from severe wounds despite the doctors' efforts.
The tensions in Tovuz district on the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border continued July 12 night. During the night battles, by using artillery, mortars and tanks, the Azerbaijani armed forces destroyed a stronghold, bombshells, vehicles and servicemen on the territory of the Armenia’s military unit. Senior lieutenant of Azerbaijani army Rashad Mahmudov was killed during the battles.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions.