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Azeri troops seize lake on Armenian border

On the morning of 12 May Azeri forces crossed the Azeri-Armenian border in the Sev Lake area, about 30 km northwest of the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated during an emergency Security Council meeting on 12 May that Azeri troops have advanced up to 3.5 km into Armenian territory and are attempting to seize Sev Lake.

Sev Lake sits exactly on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with most available maps showing Armenia controlling all or most of it. The deputy mayor of Goris, Menua Hovsepyan, told Radiolur – a news show on Armenian Public Radio – that the lake has “strategic importance” and is used by the “whole region”, during an interview on 12 May.

Azeri troops remained in their positions overnight and through 13 May and were still present on 14 May. According to Hovsepyan Azeri troops are claiming their maps and GPS show the lake as Azeri and have told civilians to stay away from the area.

In response, Armenia appears to have moved troops to the area. Video published by Zangezur TV, an Armenian news channel, shows small numbers of Armenian troops on hilltops east of the lake.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Azeri and Armenian forces have begun. Multiple Armenian sources, including Hraparak, state that Russian peacekeepers have deployed to assist with the negotiations.

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