Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) says that dozens of Azerbaijani soldiers have blocked a road between two parts of Armenia’s southern region of Syunik after an alleged stabbing incident.
The NSS said that the Karmrakar-Shurnukh section of the Goris-Kapan highway was closed at about 11 p.m. on August 25, with vehicles in the area being removed.
It added that negotiations with the Azerbaijani side on the reopening of the road, which were reportedly conducted by Russian border guards deployed in the area as part of a peace accord, continued on August 26.
Azerbaijan did not immediately comment on the accusation, but earlier in the day its Defense Ministry claimed that two Armenian soldiers attempted to stab an Azerbaijani border guard in the area.
Armenia's Defense Ministry denied there was any incident, calling the statement a "sheer lie" and "more Azerbaijani disinformation."
A 21-kilometer stretch of the road linking two Armenian towns, Goris and Kapan, was built in the Soviet times partly through the territory of Azerbaijan due to peculiarities of the local terrain.
It created no problems during Soviet times when borders between Soviet republics were administrative.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union and a 1992-1994 war in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory came under the full control of ethnic Armenians who declared their independence from Baku in the former autonomous region and expanded into some territories outside of Nagorno-Karabakh proper.
Azerbaijani forces regained control of the territory as a result of last year’s war with Armenia.
Under a Russian-brokered peace accord signed between Yerevan and Baku to end the conflict, the 21-kilometer section of the road will continue to be used by Armenians under the supervision of Russian border guards until Armenia can build an alternative road.
Azerbaijani forces regained control of the territory as a result of last year’s war with Armenia that ended with a Russian-brokered cease-fire agreement signed between Yerevan and Baku to end the conflict.
Eventually, an arrangement was made between Armenia and Russia that the 21-kilometer section of the road will continue to be used by Armenians under the control of Russian border-guards until Armenia can build another alternative road for all types of transportation that will connect two parts of the Syunik region, which is also vital for Armenia's connection with Iran.