Thousands of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh streamed into Armenia Monday as a deadly blast rocked a fuel depot in the rebel enclave and Azerbaijan and ally Turkey hailed Baku’s victory over the majority ethnic Armenian area.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lauded Baku’s “historic success” at a meeting with Azerbaijan’s leader Ilham Aliyev in the country’s western exclave of Nakhichevan.

“The window of opportunity has opened to settle the situation in the region. This opportunity must not be missed,” Erdogan said.

Aliyev vowed that the rights of ethnic Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region would be “guaranteed”.

“Karabakh’s residents — regardless their ethnicity — are citizens of Azerbaijan,” he said.

Armenia’s premier on Sunday sought to deflect blame for the outcome on long-standing ally Russia, signalling a breakdown in the countries’ security pact.

In nationally televised comments, the Armenian leader said the security agreements between the two countries had proved “insufficient”, suggesting he would seek new alliances.

Moscow on Monday slammed Pashinyan’s comments in an angry broadside, accusing the premier of trying to “absolve himself” from responsibility.

“The leadership in Yerevan is making a huge mistake by deliberately trying to destroy Armenia’s multifaceted and centuries-old ties with Russia,” Russia’s foreign ministry said.

Pashinyan later held a meeting with Russia’s interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev where he “underlined the importance of consistent cooperation” of law enforcement in the two countries.

Washington said Monday that Russia had shown it is not a reliable partner.

“Russia has shown that it cannot be relied on as a security partner,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

Several days after the fighting, the first refugees arrived in Armenia on Sunday and 6,650 people have so far entered, Yerevan said on Monday.

An explosion at a fuel depot wounded more than 200 people, according to Armenian separatist authorities which have been supplying those seeking to leave the territory with petrol and diesel.

“As a result of the explosion in the fuel warehouse, the number of injured exceeds 200. The health condition of the majority is severe or extremely severe,” the region’s rights ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan said on social media.

“The medical capacities of (Nagorno-Karabakh) are not enough,” he added, calling for air ambulances to be allowed to land.

Azerbaijan’s state media said officials held a second round of peace talks with Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian community aimed at “reintegrating” them.

But on the road heading to Armenia, more and more residents from the region appeared to be trying to get out as the witnesses said cars were snarling up in traffic.

Khalil Wakim, with AFP