Earlier on Saturday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan formally requested Russian President Vladimir Putin to start “urgent” consultations on security assistance in its dispute with Azerbaijan over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Pashinyan sent the message to Putin after Armenia and Azerbaijan failed to agree on a new ceasefire during talks in Geneva on Friday, with fighting continuing overnight on Saturday.
These statements raised fears of an escalation in the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Some observers are concerned that it risks dragging Russia, an ally of Yerevan, and Turkey led by President Recep Erdogan, which supports Baku, into the heart of a decades-old conflict.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting fierce fighting for more than a month around Nagorno-Karabakh, an area in Azerbaijan controlled by Armenian separatists following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The confrontations left more than a thousand people dead, with world powers unable so far to persuade either side to stop the fighting.
Russia has a military base in Gyumri, the second largest city in Armenia, and has a defense treaty with Yerevan.
Moscow, which said earlier that its defense agreement with Armenia does not extend to the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region, confirmed that aid would be provided if the fighting expanded.
“Russia will provide Yerevan all necessary assistance if there are direct clashes on the territory of Armenia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in televised statements that “concrete formulas” for assistance to Armenia would be discussed.
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