STORY: At least 49 Armenian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Azeris were killed on Tuesday (September 13) in the deadliest fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia since a 2020 war, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for calm.
"Since February, we also have been seeing the collapse of Russia's reputation as a security patron and a provider of security in the region," Broers said. "That has created a window of opportunity for Azerbaijan, recalling that the outcome of the second war in 2020 left unfinished business."
Armenia and Azerbaijan each blamed the other for the renewed fighting which began overnight at several points along their border, raising fears of another major conflict in the region while Russia's military is tied up in Ukraine.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify battlefield accounts from either side.
Russia has peacekeeping troops in the Azeri-Armenian conflict zone as guarantor of an agreement that ended a six-week war over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh two years ago.
Azerbaijan, which is politically and culturally linked to Turkey, made significant territorial gains in 2020, reclaiming land it had lost to ethnic Armenians in an earlier war over Nagorno-Karabakh 30 years before.
Azerbaijani media reported that a ceasefire agreement had been broken almost immediately after being enforced early on Tuesday.
Both Russia and the United States, at loggerheads over the Ukraine war, called on Baku and Yerevan to observe restraint.