Armenia denies troop build-up near border with Azerbaijan

Armenia has rejected allegations from Azerbaijan that it has amassed troops along their mutual border in a statement released on Monday (14 August).

A statement released by Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday accused "Armenian armed forces illegally deployed in the territory of Azerbaijan", of over the past weeks having "intensified the military-engineering works and other military build-up".

"In parallel to illegal military build-up and activities in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan where the Russian peacekeeping contingent has been temporarily deployed, large-scale accumulation of weaponry and other military equipment and personnel along the undelimited state border has been also observed over past days in an apparent effort to go into another military adventure," the statement continued.

Armenia strongly denies Azerbaijani accusations

In their own statement, the Armenian Ministry of Defence denied Azerbaijan's claims, saying that Baku's statement "does not correspond to reality".

"Regarding another false allegation mentioned in the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan," the statement continued, "the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia once again declares that the Republic of Armenia does not have an army in Nagorno-Karabakh."

Similar exchanges of rhetoric and accusations between official Yerevan and official Baku have become common as sporadic, low-level clashes along Armenia and Azerbaijan's mutual border have continued.

Occasional fighting is also reported in Nagorno-Karabakh, with Azerbaijan characterising the self-described Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army as "Armenian armed forces illegally deployed in the territory of Azerbaijan" in official communications.

Yerevan denies that any such military formations are theirs.

source: with agencies
photo: RFE/RL