On July 18th, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tated the need to create an international monitoring system for the observance of the ceasefire regime on the border with Azerbaijan.
The European Union suggested the return of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observers.
In his speech, Prime Minister Pashinyan touched upon the escalation of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in recent days. In particular, the Prime Minister noted:
“The purpose of our meeting today is to discuss the operational situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. However, before that, it must be clearly stated that the military-political situation in the region has become tense due to the aggression of Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.”
Speaking about the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan, Pashinyan stated the need “to get out of the circle of constant allegations of ceasefire violations”.
“As for further actions, our position remains the same,” the prime minister said.
According to him, it is necessary to continue the negotiation process within the framework of the co-chairmanship of the “Minsk Group” of the OSCE, “and Azerbaijan must finally take a constructive position.”
Pashinyan also commented on a statement by Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesman Vagif Dargyakhly who claimed that Azerbaijan was prepared to strike a nuclear power plant near the Armenian city of Metsamor.
Pashinyan said that these words are a threat to commit a terrorist attack and should receive an appropriate international response. He did say that Armenia could guarantee its own safety and that of the nuclear power plant.
He further commented that in recent months, the long-standing militaristic rhetoric of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has intensified, and he more aggressively threatened to resolve the Karabakh issue by force, openly demonstrating his intention to ruin the ongoing talks under the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship.
“Against this background, President Aliyev’s claims about the strength and invincibility of the Azerbaijani army was developing, which was an attempt to justify the billions of dollars spent over the past decade and a half under the pretext of developing the army, which did not serve to increase the well-being of the Azerbaijani people.”
At the same time, Pashinyan claims that Armenia would receive international support, which is puzzling. Turkey is Azerbaijan’s greatest ally, and is a key NATO member, so no Alliance support is coming for Armenia, which considers itself a partner state.
Armenia’s greatest ally and guarantor of sovereignty is Russia, which Pashinyan’s government has attempt to push away in recent years.
On the ground, along the border, there’s little violence with the conflict simmering.
On July 18th, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said that Armenian Armed Forces “violated ceasefire 53 times throughout the day in various direction of the front, using large-caliber machine guns and sniper rifles”. According to the ministry, Armenian Armed Forces fired upon the “positions of the Azerbaijan Army located” in Ağdam, Tovuz, and in Göyəlli, Gadabay.
The Armenian side reported that the night on the border passed quite calmly, but the Azerbaijani side “violated the ceasefire several times, opening fire from small arms at the positions of the Armenian forces”
On July 19th, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence issued a statement, reporting that the “military units of the Armed Forces of Armenia violated ceasefire 70 times throughout the day in various direction of the front, using large-caliber machine guns and sniper rifles”. According to the ministry, Armenian forces fired upon Zamanlı in Gadabay.
The Armenian side also said that ceasefire was violated about 70 times by the Azerbaijani side, but that the situation was relatively calm.
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