By Emilio Luciano Cricchio
The Armenian Defense Ministry has denied reports that Armenian servicemen crossed the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border into Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar region.
“On the evening of June 1, 40 Armenian servicemen crossed the border into Azerbaijan, after which the Azerbaijani forces forced them to return to their original positions,” an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s statement read.
According to the Armenian side, Azerbaijan’s military and political leadership is circulating this misinformation to create an impression abroad that the 2021 Armenia-Azerbaijan border crisis is being further aggravated by the Armenian Armed Forces. Furthermore, the Armenian Defense Ministry stated that Azerbaijan is attempting to counterbalance the situation after Azerbaijan committed incursions into Armenian territory on May 12.
“The Ministry of Defense of Armenia declares that the Armed Forces of Armenia did not cross the border of Azerbaijan either on June 1 or in the days preceding it,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
In the same statement, the Armenian side noted that Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry had made claims that Armenian forces opened fire on the state border and later that Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh forces fired upon Azerbaijani positions near to the city of Shushi.
These reports were denied by both the Armenian Defense Ministry and the Central Command of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh.
On May 12, Azerbaijani forces crossed the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border in the Lake Sev area of the region of Syunik. Later, another incursion took place in the Verin Shorzha area of Gegharkunik, where an Armenian serviceman was killed.