Baku. 27 February. REPORT.AZ/ Armenians once again broke ceasefire with another provocation in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh territories of Azerbaijan.
According to information spread by Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence, Armenian armed forces attempted to invade our positions from different directions, aiming at large scale provocations along frontline at night from 24th to 25th of February.
Heaviest fights took place between our and enemy troops attempting to take control over strategic positions in Khojavand-Fuzuli direction.
The ministry told that thanks to constant monitoring of opposite side, arranged ambushes and organization of combat security, the enemy’s actions have been revealed in advance and their penetration deep into our defense has been prevented.
Chairman of the press service of Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hikmat Hajiyev told commenting on the battle that this is a follow-up action after political provocation under illegal “referendum” held by Armenia in occupied territories of Azerbaijan on February 20.
He noted that Armenia is an instigator of escalation at the frontline and all responsibility lies on military and political leadership of this country.
The OSCE Minsk group co-chairs, mediators for settlement of the conflict and liberation of Azerbaijani lands have issued a statement on escalation of tension at the frontline of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops. Statement says that according to information of Armenian and Azerbaijani defense ministries, serious violation of ceasefire was observed along frontline resulting in casualties on February 25. Co-chairs called the opposing sides to avoid use of heavy weapons, to retreat back to initial positions and return bodies of dead soldiers through mediation of special envoy of OSCE acting chairman.
Bodies of martyred Azerbaijani military servicemen haven’t been yet recovered from battlefield. Ministry of defense told that they were planning arrangements through mediation of OSCE and International Red Cross Committee representatives at 12:00 of February 26 to take bodies of martyred Azerbaijani military servicemen – Abdullayev Agshin Ismayil oglu, Nazarov Shahlar Yashar oglu, Hashimli Tural Abdul oglu, Gadimov Zulfu Rahim oglu and Jafarov Zakir Nazim oglu from battlefield. But at the starting point of procedures for removal of bodies Armenia made new unacceptable demands, breaking terms of agreement reached with participation of international mediators and thwarting operation.
It means we again had to observe similar behavior of Armenians, mediators and humanitarian organizations. OSCE negotiators express unease not on continuation of occupation of Azerbaijani lands, but on break of ceasefire. Whereas the main reason of violation of ceasefire and escalation of tension at frontline is continuation of occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
Because resolutions of UN Security Council demanding liberation of Azerbaijani lands from occupation strengthen position of OSCE Minsk group co-chairs. Unfortunately, international negotiators don’t even mention these documents.
Armenian foreign minister Edvard Nalbandyan on February 22 has met with his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
Before meeting the foreign ministers attended exhibition dedicated to 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Armenia.
By the way, on the same day Armenians marked “25th anniversary of liberation of Khankendi (In their word “Stepanakert”) from siege”.
S. Lavrov told after the meeting that Russia stands for seeking optimal solution of the conflict in line with documents signed with participation of Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as officials of three co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group: “I am sure that negotiations will support development of our alliance ties in the future”
Foreign minister believes that there is no alternative to format of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ activities.
International mediators, including Russia have never voiced fact of occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia. S.Lavrov on the one hand speaks about alliance, on the other hand he doesn’t comment on “referendum” held by Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh on February 20. Because such an action of Armenians is one of main reasons of escalation of tension in the region.
Negotiators in many cases take such attitude as though Armenia has nothing to do with occupation of Azerbaijani territories and it is just another country. Nevertheless, Erevan and its sponsors stand behind all events, including occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and provocation committed at night from 24th to 25th of February.
Otherwise, Armenians would never attempt to break ceasefire on the eve of 25th anniversary of Khojaly genocide. In other words, someone made Armenia to feel confident to violate ceasefire on day of mourning in Azerbaijan.
That’s why we can suppose a link between E.Nalbandyan’s Moscow trip and firefight at frontline last week. Even though we try to believe that there isn’t such link, we cannot stop ourselves from making this assumption.
Speech of Armenian defense minister Vigen Sargsyan at the event dedicated to establishment of Russian Soviet army on February 23 is another prove of this: “I am sure that our ([Russia and Armenia] – S. Ismayilov) close mutual cooperation in the field of defense will be strong and fruitful in the future as well”.
Last year April battles frustrated Armenian army, society and their sponsors. Serious changes were made in military and political leadership of the occupier. Parliamentary elections in Armenia have been scheduled to April of this year. Therefore, present government and their sponsors try to restore their reputation through provocations in Nagorno-Karabakh to ensure victory in parliamentary elections. Their sponsors try to present Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh as a power. Some people in Armenia already started to voice such ideas. However, the powers sponsoring separatist-terrorists in Nagorno-Karabakh is not a secret.
Thus, battles during last two days once again demonstrated that Azerbaijan is right. Address of powers interested in occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, who don’t allow settlement of the conflict, has been confirmed once again. It also became clear that mediators for resolution of the conflict only make statements and stall the process. It is clear that they prevent emergence of alternative ways for settlement of the conflict. As they manage the conflict the way they like, being interested in extension of the conflict, those powers from time to time thwart emerging alternatives. Although this type of pressure is outdated, Armenians are still used against Azerbaijan. Such powers close their eyes to imagine themselves invisible, but open eyes see them clearly.