No provocative action will go unanswered – Armenian PM

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has strongly condemned Azerbaijan’s provocative actions at the state border with Armenia.

The Prime Minister has described the escalation of the situation as an attempt to push domestic problems to the background.

“The provocative actions of the Azerbaijani forces are strongly condemnable, PM Pashinyan said, adding that the military political leaders of Azerbaijan will bear full responsibility for the unpredictable consequences of regional destabilization.

“Of great concern is Turkey’s policy of inciting regional instability, which is best reflected in the official statement of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, which expresses unconditional support for Azerbaijan’s actions, with an obvious anti-Armenian logic, which has already become traditional,” he added.

He added that the military incident has not emerged in a vacuum, and for some time now, the Azerbaijani leadership has been trying to play the anti-Armenian card for reasons known to them.

“We are possibly dealing with a working style of the Azerbaijani military-political leadership aimed at pushing domestic problems to the background by aggravating the situation. In this context especially striking is the obvious contemptuous attitude towards human lives, including the lives of Azerbaijani soldiers, manifested in sending them to unpromising actions,” Pashinyan stated.

This is evidenced by the fact that Azerbaijan did not join the UN Secretary General’s call for global ceasefire during the pandemic, the Armenian PM stressed.

“It turns out that the more the epidemic spreads in Azerbaijan, the more the socio-economic situation worsens, the more the anti-Armenian, belligerent rhetoric of the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan intensifies,” he added.

“Instead of urging its own people to abide by health security rules, the Azerbaijani leadership has been calling for war, as if “anti-Armenianism” is the best way to fight the coronavirus,” the PM continued.

He assured that no provocative action will go unanswered and called on all compatriots to express their unconditional support for the Armed Forces, soldiers and commanders who stand firm in the defense of the homeland.

The Prime Minister urged to follow only official information, calling the informational confrontation an “important guarantee of victory of the Armenian army.”

Reporting on the situation, Defense Minister David Tonoyan said at 12:30 on Sunday an UAZ vehicle approached one of the Armenian positions, and for unknown reasons, the servicemen got out of the car and moved in the direction of the Armenian posts.

“As the movement was unexpected for our servicemen, they reported it to the commanders and got an instruction to call on the Azerbaijani servicemen to leave the area, taking into consideration that they could have lost their way due to lack of knowledge of geographical location or the operational situation,” the Defense Minister said.

“The Azerbaijani servicemen left the vehicle and returned to their positions. This is followed by firing from 82 mm mortars in the same direction, as well as movement by combat groups towards that Armenian defense position,” Minister Tonoyan stated.

He said the action was prevented by retaliatory fire and respective actions. The adversary retreated, incurring losses.

According to the Defense Minister, firing from different firearms resumes periodically, every 15-25 minutes, with the only pause registered between 3:30 and 5:30 am. The Armenian Armed Forces are in full control of the situation, he said.

Prime Minister then said there could be an impression the Azerbaijani soldiers had lost their way, and undertook the action to get the car back.

In response Defense Minister David Tonoyan said: “Had they wished so, they would somehow contact the Armenian side to reach an agreement not to shoot and would get the vehicle back.”

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted, in turn, that since yesterday they have been in constant contact with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to exchange information and coordinate the actions.

The Minister said the work continues and the Ministry transparently informs the public about the process, about all developments in that direction.

“Let’s note that the Armed Forces of Armenia confidently handle the situation, and there is no doubt that we, our Armed Forces are able and will protect the inviolability of borders of the Republic of Armenia.,” PM Nikol Pashinyan concluded.

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