For those involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict 2015 has started badly. Less than a week has passed since the start of the new year but already a number of deaths have been recorded. Armenia has already reported a number of casualties Armenia has claimed that Azerbaijan has also suffered casualties, but Azerbaijan denied both that the incidents had happened or that it had suffered casualties. It is impossible to verify the facts but either or both of the sides are not telling the truth. Truth has already become a casualty in the context of the conflict in 2015. Both sides however are reporting persistent violations of the cease fire and claiming that thousands of rounds of ammunition are being fired every day.
There is despair not only among those directly involved in the conflict, but also among those trying to help to resolve it. Answering questions during the daily State Department briefing, the spokesperson for the American State Department, Jen Psaki said
"We are troubled by reports of ceasefire violations, as well as casualties in recent days. These incidents do not correspond to the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents' commitments to reach a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair country, we do continue to urge, as you noted or previewed, both sides at the highest levels to engage in negotiations that could lead to a peace agreement and adopt measures to reduce the likelihood of such events along the line of contact and along the border. That continues to be our focus."
Commonspace.eu political editor added this comment:
"It is difficult to remember a year which started so badly on the front line of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the last twenty years. Even if we only count the casualties that have already been confirmed it is clear we are looking at a very bad start for the year. There is a need to kick start the peace process once again, but for the moment there is little sign of this happening. In the meantime we can assume that the trickle of casualties will continue and one can only hope that this trickle will not become a deluge as the year progresses."
source: commonspace.eu with agencies.
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.
An incident at a military facility of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic resulted in three Armenian soldiers killed and one seriously injured. It is not clear what the exact circumstances of the incident were, but for the moment it is being treated as an accident.