22 years ago, on May 12, 1994, a termless agreement on ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, signed by the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the Azerbaijani Republic and the Republic of Armenia through the mediation of the Russian Federation, entered into force. This agreement, as well as the February 6, 1995 trilateral agreement on strengthening the ceasefire, signed under the auspices of the OSCE, still remain the only real achievement, which laid the foundation for peace talks and created conditions for the activities of the mediators on finding a just and final solution to the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.
Before April 2, 2016, the ceasefire was generally maintained, despite the incessant attempts of Azerbaijan to destabilize the situation on the Line of Contact between the armed forces of the NKR and Azerbaijan. The NKR authorities have repeatedly drawn the attention of the international community to the purposeful actions of the Azerbaijani side, as a result of which ceasefire violations were becoming more and more threatening in their nature and scale.
Official Stepanakert has been urging the international community to condemn the deliberate policy of Azerbaijan of escalating tensions and derailing the negotiation process conducted under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. We have repeatedly pointed out that without an adequate and targeted international response, the consistent and purposeful actions of Azerbaijan on fomenting a war in the region will become irreversible.
In the early hours of April 2, Azerbaijan, in gross violation of the agreements of May 12, 1994 and February 6, 1995, launched a large-scale offensive along the entire Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, using heavy weaponry, artillery and combat aircraft. Only thanks to the decisive actions of the NKR Defense Army, which gave a fitting rebuff to the insolent rival, on April 5, Azerbaijan was forced to ask, as in 1994, through the mediation of the Russian Federation for the cessation of the hostilities. It has been generally maintained, despite the recurrent violations by the Azerbaijani side.
Even after the failure of the military venture of April 2-5, Azerbaijan has not abandoned the idea to solve the conflict by force, as evidenced by the statements of the Azerbaijani officials, including at the highest level. Moreover, Azerbaijan tries to unilaterally denounce the ceasefire agreement of May 12, 1994, which is an obvious continuation of the policy on disrupting the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict and instigating a war in the region.
The Nagorno Karabakh Republic, being committed to an exclusively peaceful settlement of the conflict and making every effort to fully restore the ceasefire, is at the same time prepared to stop, in the strongest terms, any attempts of Azerbaijan to unleash another aggression.
Ensuring full compliance with May 12, 1994 agreement and the practical implementation of the February 6, 1995 agreement, which contains a set of measures on early warning and crisis stabilization is the only way of creating the necessary conditions for the resumption of the peaceful settlement process of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.