A monitoring mission deployed to Armenia by the European Union on Thursday began patrolling the border with Azerbaijan.
The EU has dispatched 44 monitors after its squarely blamed Azerbaijan for the September 13 attacks on Armenia’s sovereign territory and called on Baku to withdraw its troops from Armenia.
“EU monitors in Armenia set off on their first patrol,” the EU’s European External Action Service announced on Twitter.
“For the next two months, the EU Monitoring Capacity will monitor the situation on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border to build confidence and to contribute to the [Armenian-Azerbaijani] border commissions,” the statement said.
The agreement to send the monitors to Armenia was reached on October 6 when Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with the presidents of Azerbaijan and France, Ilham Aliyev and Emmanuel Macron, as well as the EU’s top official, Charles Michel in Prague.
An advance team arrived in Armenia earlier this month and toured the Gegharkunik, Syunik and Vayots Dzor provinces—the targets of Azerbaijan incursion into Armenia.
“The EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia will report on military posture and ceasefire related developments in the border regions between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” an EEAS explanatory note released on October 20 said.
“The EU monitors will also provide observations of events taking place along the bilateral border, including human rights related developments,” the statement said. “They will not have an investigative role.”
The EU monitoring mission is also coinciding with a “needs assessment mission” dispatched to Armenia by the OSCE. That group concluded its tour on Thursday and reported its finding to Armenia’s deputy foreign minister.
Soon after the EU mission was announced, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his Armenian counterpart, Ararat Mirzoyan, that the Collective Security Treaty Organization was also willing to send a mission to the region.
On Friday, the CSTO’s Security Council is scheduled to meet to discuss a report of its own fact-finding mission to Armenia in September. Should a CSTO mission be proposed, it will bring monitors from the EU and the Russia-led collective into the same space as Russia and the West have been in a tug-of-war to settle the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.