Stanislav Zas, the secretary-general of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, visited Armenia's border region with Azerbaijan on September 22.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded fresh accusations over a violation of a fragile cease-fire agreement that ended the worst fighting between the two ex-Soviet Caucasus countries since a 2020 war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In statements issued by both countries' defense ministries, the two sides accused each other of firing first in renewed clashes along their shared border.
Following a flare-up that killed more than 200 soldiers during two days of fighting early last week, the two sides agreed to a cease-fire, brokered by Russia, to end hostilities, though the situation has remained tense. "On September 23, at 0740 (0340 GMT), units of the Azerbaijani armed forces again violated the cease-fire regime by firing from different positions against Armenian combat positions located in the eastern area of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border," Armenia's Defense Ministry said in a post on Facebook on September 23.
“The enemy fire was silenced by retaliatory actions,” said Aram Torosian, the ministry spokesman. The ministry said one Armenian soldier was wounded.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry issued a statement on September 23 blaming Armenia for opening fire first.
Baku said Armenia's armed forces had opened fire on three different areas of the shared border, "intermittently shelling positions of the Azerbaijani armed forces with mixed-caliber small arms" for nine hours starting around midnight. The ministry added it had taken "adequate retaliatory measures." Baku and Yerevan have been locked in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh for years. Armenian-backed separatists seized the mainly Armenian-populated region from Azerbaijan during a war in the early 1990s that killed some 30,000 people. The two sides fought another war in 2020 that lasted six weeks before a Russia-brokered cease-fire, resulting in Armenia losing control over parts of the region, which is part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent districts. Under the cease-fire, Moscow deployed about 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers. Russia moved quickly to negotiate an end to the latest hostilities, but a renewal of the cease-fire has failed to hold.