YEREVAN -- Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has suggested that Russian border posts be placed along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border to secure its safe demarcation as simmering tensions between the two South Caucasus nations threaten to boil over again.
Speaking at a government session on July 29, Pashinian also said that observers from the member states of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) could also monitor the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, adding that the Minsk Group of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other formats could be acceptable alternatives to secure a peaceful border delimitation.
Internationally mediated negotiations involving the Minsk Group co-chaired by Russia, the United States, and France, have been unable to produce a lasting settlement of the conflict.
"As a member of the CSTO, Armenia, which will take over the chairmanship in the organization in September, fully understands its responsibility to avoid threats to the CSTO's security and stay away from involving allies in armed conflicts, and I officially exclude any provocative actions from Armenia's armed forces," Pashinian said. The CSTO includes Armenia, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow shortly after Pashinian’s statement that "Russia continues contacting Yerevan and Baku to secure the implementation of three-party agreements" that resolved last year's 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Fighting ended in November with Baku regaining control over parts of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh and all seven adjacent districts that were under ethnic Armenians' control for almost 30 years.
Pashinian's suggestion of Russian border posts comes a day after the Armenian Defense Ministry said three of its servicemen were killed and two wounded after Azerbaijani armed forces violated the cease-fire along the border.
Clashes have become more frequent along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border since mid-May.
Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by ethnic Armenians since the early 1990s.
Last year's war claimed at least 6,900 lives from both sides.