There is enough clear evidence that the most recent escalation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Northern Tavush region is the logical outcome of pugnacious policies of Azerbaijan, Armenia’s Ambassador to Poland Samvel Mkrtchian said in an interview with the Warsaw Institute.
“If one follows the warmongering rhetoric of the President of Azerbaijan, the Defense Minister and other high ranking officials pronounced during last weeks and months advocating for a military solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, you see that the provocation which triggered the developments starting July 12th was not out of the blue,” he said.
The Ambassador noted that the Armenian side has been continuously warning its international partners that this type of situation is of high probability and, preventive and restraining political and diplomatic steps should be taken to tame the Azerbaijani ill-intentioned fervor.
“To our disappointment, our warnings have been somewhat overlooked,” he stressed.
Speaking about the role of Russia and Turkey, Ambassador Mkrtchian said “the two countries are acting completely differently.”
“Turkish Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, the President and other officials in the course of the last week have already made several statements and comments voicing their unequivocal support to Azerbaijan, also in terms of possible military involvement. This is extremely unhelpful and not only encourages and emboldens Azerbaijan to continue along the dangerous path of escalation, but also raises profound questions on whether that country can play any credible and positive role in the South Caucasus,” the Ambassador said.
“At this point it is abundantly clear that Turkey is a destabilizing factor in our region and a serious challenge to Armenia’s security. Moreover, Turkey’s attempts to intervene in the conflicts in its neighboring regions has already undermined the security and stability thereon,” he added.
“These facts make even more impossible for Turkey to play any role in the issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, within international, and particularly the OSCE framework. Armenia will continue to consistently work towards maintaining and strengthening the international and regional security, while closely cooperating with international partners to this end,” Amb. Mkhrtchyan noted.
To the contrary, Russia, he said, though being an ally to Armenia and being bound by military security agreements, opted a balanced approach offering its mediation services not only as the co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, but in its national capacity as well.
He stated that “the situation we are currently in, necessitates as quick as possible to engage in negotiations in good faith. Azerbaijan should eventually comprehend that we live in the same region and we need to build a common security space.”
“To achieve that goal, in the first place, the right of Nagorno Karabakh people to self-determination should be unconditionally respected, international legally binding mechanisms should be utilized to exercise it and define the status of Nagorno Karabakh. By doing so the full potential of the South Caucasus will be unblocked and we all will equally benefit,” Samvel Mkrtchian said.