Armenia’s defense ministry said on Tuesday a possible use of force is not ruled out if the Azerbaijani forces don’t leave Armenia’s territory within a reasonable period of time.
"In case of the lack of peaceful settlement within a reasonable period of time, i.e. if the Azerbaijani troops don’t return to their initial positions without preliminary conditions, Armenia’s armed forces reserve the right to resolve the problem <…> including by means of force," it said in a statement.
The ministry once again stressed that any infringement on the country’s sovereign territories was absolutely inadmissible and Azerbaijani troops must leave Armenia’s territory. The ministry called for settling this matter by peaceful means and hailed international efforts towards it, TASS reports.
Armenia’s defense ministry said on May 12 that Azerbaijani armed forces had tried to carry out "certain works" in a border area in the Syunik Province in a bid to "adjust the border." Following retaliatory measures, the Azerbaijani side stopped its activities and agreed to hold talks to settle the situation. Later on the same day, Pashinyan called a meeting of the country’s Security Council where he described the situation as an infringement of Armenia’s territory. He said Azerbaijani troops had crossed Armenia’s state border and moved 3.5 kilometers deep into its territory.
Later, Yerevan said it had turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization over the current escalation on the border with Azerbaijan.
After the end of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone last autumn, seven districts adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh came over to Baku’s control and the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan was moved closer to the Syunik Province. Territorial disputes between the sides arise from time to time.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachinsky corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave. Apart from that, several districts came over to Baku’s control.