Armenia is effectively cooperating with the Russian side to settle the situation on the border with Azerbaijan, acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday.
“We are working with our Russian partners very effectively and, as you know, the defense minister and the deputy chief of the General Staff are currently in Moscow”, the acting prime minister said at a meeting with residents of the border settlement of Kut in the Gegharkunik Province, responding to a question about what Moscow and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) were doing to settle the situation on the border with Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported earlier on Thursday that six Armenian servicemen were captured during an attempt by a reconnaissance and subversive group to cross into Azeri territory. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said that Armenian servicemen attempted to carry out a terror attack by planting mines on a road.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry confirmed that the Armenian servicemen had been captured but noted that they had been taken prisoner during the engineering works in the border area of the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia. Pashinyan called the incident the abduction of Armenian servicemen.
The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the area of the Gegharkunik and Syunik border regions has remained tense since May 12. The Armenian Defense Ministry reported on that day that Azerbaijan’s armed forces had made an attempt early that morning to carry out “certain activities” in one of the Syunik Province’s districts “to adjust the border.”
The ministry added that the Azerbaijani troops halted their activities following some steps taken by Armenian forces and negotiations were underway to settle the situation. In the evening of that same day, acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a meeting of the republic’s Security Council, during which he slammed the events as an encroachment on Armenia’s territory. According to Pashinyan, the Azerbaijani forces crossed Armenia’s state border, moving 3.5 kilometers into the country’s territory. Yerevan later said that it had contacted the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) over a spike in border tensions.