The latest unprovoked deadly attack once again demonstrates that Azerbaijan has not abandoned its plans to resolve the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict with the use of military force, Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Last night the Azerbaijani armed forces, in flagrant violation of the ceasefire and the provisions of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020 attacked the positions of the Defense Army, as well as objects located deep in the territory of the Republic of Artsakh using artillery and combat UAVs. The attack left four servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Artsakh killed.
“The already common attempts by the Azerbaijani side to lay the blame for this attack on Artsakh are groundless. This is also indicated by the statement of the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan, who on 26 June, just two days before this attack, stated in an interview that the Artsakh Defense Army did not pose any threat to Azerbaijan and at the same time threatened to conduct a military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh with the forces of one army corps. Therefore, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister admitted that it is his country, which is the aggressor and which militarizes the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict zone,” the Ministry said.
“This unprovoked deadly attack once again demonstrates that Azerbaijan has not abandoned its plans to resolve the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict with the use of military force. The attack of 28 June by the Azerbaijani armed forces against the territory of Artsakh, like the previous numerous cases of shelling and attacks on civilians, are a clear manifestation of the genocidal policy consistently pursued by Azerbaijan with tacit non-resistance on the part of the international community,” it added.
“We once again draw the attention of the international community to the fact that Artsakh has been under blockade for almost 200 days, which is becoming increasingly tight and inhumane. The population of the Republic is deprived of gas and electricity supply. Over the past 14 days, Azerbaijan has completely blocked the delivery of humanitarian cargo to the Republic of Artsakh, which has been carried out over the past more than six months in a limited regime by the Russian peacekeeping forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),” the Foreign Ministry stated.
“The Azerbaijani authorities do not even hide their intention to carry out ethnic cleansing. The President of this country has publicly stated this on numerous occasions. The statement made by the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan on 26 June that the residents of Artsakh, who do not wish to accept the authority of Baku, must leave their homeland is another evidence of the real intentions of Baku in relation to Artsakh and its people,” it added.
The Foreign Ministry also draws attention to the fact that, as it has repeatedly happened before and during important meetings, the June 28 attack occurred at a time a new round of talks between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan is under way in Washington, DC, and became yet another confirmation that Baku is trying to impose its ultimatum and maximalist demands through coercive measures, including the use of military force.
“The fact that Baku is not ready to engage in negotiations in good faith is also indicated by the statements made by the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister on 23 June in an interview with Reuters. In particular, he rejected the idea of international guarantees of the rights and security of the people of Artsakh under the pretext that this was an alleged internal affair of Azerbaijan. Trying to present the settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, including the issue of ensuring the rights and security of the people of Artsakh, as an internal affair of Azerbaijan, the authorities of this country are actually trying to legitimize their plans to carry out ethnic cleansing of Artsakh. Such statements also indicate Baku’s desire to undermine the efforts of international actors aimed at creating conditions conducive to finding a peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict,” the Ministry stated.
“Against this background, the statement made by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry a few days before the armed attack about the alleged readiness of this country to provide assistance to the residents of Artsakh is a manifestation of extreme cynicism. The best assistance that Azerbaijan can provide is its strict adherence to the ceasefire, ending its transport and energy blockade of the Republic of Artsakh, and the full implementation of the provisions of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020 and the Order of the International Court of Justice of 22 February 2023 regarding free, safe and unimpeded movement along the Lachin Corridor in both directions,” it noted.
The Ministry emphasized that the deliberate infliction of suffering on the 120,000 population of Artsakh and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis as a result of the complete blockade of the Lachin Corridor amount to war crimes under international law.
“We reiterate that the international community as a whole, and in particular the international actors involved in the peace process, as well as the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, have a direct responsibility for preventing further deepening of the humanitarian and security crisis in Artsakh, as well as for a peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the norms and principles of international law and ensuring lasting peace and stability in the region. In this regard, we once again emphasize the need to use all the levers and instruments at their disposal to put pressure on Azerbaijan in order to ensure its compliance with the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, as well as the immediate implementation of the legally binding Order of the International Court of Justice of 22 February 2023,” Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry stated.