Azerbaijan’s latest attack came as no surprise to Armenia, as Azerbaijan was among few countries in the world that publicly refused to join the UN Secretary General call for a global cease-fire during the COVID pandemic, Armenia’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Tigran Balayan said in an interview with Hetzel Media.
“The 12 July attempt by the Azerbaijani Armed forces to take control of positions of Armenian forces in the North-East of our state border, the situation quickly deteriorated and turned into exchange of artillery shelling and use of kamikadze drones, targeting of civilian infrastructure, kindergarten, even factory of mouth mask (so much needed in COVID19 times) in Armenia’s Tavush region had to stop working and supplies to other countries,” the Ambassador said.
“One doesn’t need to be a political scientist to understand that all have been done to distract the attention on deepening political, financial, social migration crises in Azerbaijan,” he added.
Speaking about the Karabakh conflict settlement, Amb. Balayan said “Our stance is crystal clear: there is no military solution to this conflict. The war is not an option, and should be totally and publicly ruled out. We are fully committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict i a way that meets the interests of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in equal measure as it is expected for Azerbaijan. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are working intensively to propose a solution, but each time Azerbaijan authorities refuse to accept the proposals, declaring the military option as a potential solution to the conflict.”
“Armenia is confident that only a compromise-based solution can bring to a peaceful settlement. This has been and remains the commitment of Armenia,” he noted.
Ambassador Balayan said “Turkish role is particularly concerning, because we have been observing a very destabilizing role of Turkey in its other neighbourhoods – the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East. Now what we are observing is an attempt to export this factor of instability in our region, in the South Caucasus.”
“The only role Turkey can play in this conflict, is to keep itself as far away as possible. Turkish unilateral, unconditional political, economic and military support of Azerbaijan’s bellicose stance is only complicating the situation,” he stated.
When t comes to Russia, Tigran Balayan said “As a Minsk Group Chair country and bilaterally Russia has been very constructively working over decades with the other two Co-Chairs countries to find an acceptable solution, a compromise-based solution for all the parties concerned – to Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Azerbaijan.”
“Actually, Russian is the country, which managed to broker truce between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh in 1994, as well the cessation of hostilities after the so called April Aggression of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh in 2016. Armenia has an allied relationship and strategic partnership with Russia and we are working extensively on expansion of multifaceted ties with Russia,” he noted.
“At the same time Russia, Israel and a number of other countries continue to sell sophisticated armaments to Azerbaijan, which uses them to target civilians and the civilian infrastructure. We are voicing alarm over this indicating that countries supplying Azerbaijan with weapons must clearly understand that the use of these weapons against civilians is a crime,” the Ambassador added.
He added that the United States as a Minsk Group Co-Chair country does its best to bring the sides closer to the solution. “In contrast to the EU, the US implements several humanitarian projects in Nagorno-Karabakh, financing very important demining projects.”
“One should perceive clearly that Azerbaijan is to be blamed for the lack of solution to the Karabakh conflict, not the Co-Chairs, Armenia or Artsakh, as the ruling elite in Azerbaijan regards this conflict as the raison d’etre of their rule, suppressing opposition voices, closing independent media and putting civil activists behind the bars, and writing off all the problems to the unresolved conflict with Nagorno-Karabakh,” Amb. Balayan stressed.
He noted that “as long as the international community will continue efforts to keep the imaginable balance and will not call things by their proper names, will have the same situation and constant danger of war, destruction and suffering.”