Azerbaijan launched a military operation today to retake the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakhah in the South Caucasus, which is inhabited mainly by Armenians.

Baku spoke for local counter-terrorism operationss” in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, saying his goal was to restore constitutional order and expel Armenian military formations there.

Armenia has denounced a “wide-scale offensive” by Azerbaijan, saying Baku’s aim is to carry out “ethnic cleansing” in the disputed enclave.

Reactions from the international community were immediate.

The European Union, through the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, condemned the military escalation and called on Baku to stop its current military activities.

“There is an urgent need to return to the dialogue between Baku and the Armenians of Karabakh. This military escalation should not be used as a pretext to force the local population to leave,” Borrell said in a statement.

He said the EU remains fully committed to facilitating dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

From his side European Council President Charles Michel called on Baku to stop “immediately” his military operation in the enclave.

“Azerbaijan’s military actions must be stopped immediately to allow a genuine dialogue between Baku and the Armenians of Karabakh,” Michel told X.

Russia, guarantor of the truce reached after the last Armenia-Azerbaijan war in 2020, expressed “deep concern over the sharp escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh”, “The Russian side urges the parties to the conflict to stop the bloodshedto immediately stop hostilities and return to the path of political and diplomatic settlement,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

As she said, Moscow was notified just “a few minutes” before the start of Baku’s “anti-terrorist operations” in the region. “There is information circulating in the media, according to which the Azerbaijani side, notified Russian peacekeepers “in advance”. This is not true. The information was shared with the Russian mission a few minutes before the start of hostilities,” said the Russian diplomatic spokeswoman.

France condemned “with the greatest determination” Azerbaijan’s military operation and called for an “urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council”.

“No pretext can justify such unilateral action, which threatens thousands of citizens already affected by months of illegal blockade and contradicts the efforts of the international community to reach a negotiated settlement,” the French foreign ministry said, calling Baku to “immediately stop its attack and return to respect for international law”.

A senior US official emphasized that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken he said he would contact “all parties” including Turkey, stressing that Washington considers the military operation from Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh “particularly dangerous”.