Yerevan goes for escalation
    Plotting new provocations

    ANALYTICS  31 March 2023 - 17:15

    Matanat Nasibova

    The Armenian leadership is persistently trying to convince the international community of Azerbaijani "aggression" to prevent by all means Baku's peacemaking initiatives and to derail the possibility of signing a peace agreement. This is once again demonstrated by the propaganda labels that Prime Minister Pashinyan tried once again to pin on Azerbaijan during his government meeting the day before.

    With his latest insinuations about Baku and its policies, the Armenian leader first and foremost wanted to somehow justify the presence of remnants of Armenian armed gangs in Karabakh and Armenia's military assistance to them, as well as to shift responsibility for past and future provocations onto Azerbaijan. At the same time, he once again claimed that Azerbaijan was "preparing for the ethnic cleansing of Karabakh Armenians".

    "...It is a well-known fact that defence army operates in Nagorno-Karabakh. The existence and activities of this army can be explained by one thing: Azerbaijan is gearing up for the genocide of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh," Pashinyan intimidated with horror stories "about bloodthirsty Azerbaijanis," not only his officials but the entire civilized world.

    But his words provoke a paradoxical conclusion: the remnants of Armenian fighters, the so-called "Defence Army of Nagorno-Karabakh", unwilling to leave Karabakh for some reason, are going to confront the very Azerbaijani Army which is equipped with modern weapons and has excellent training, that smashed the whole Armenian army to pieces just a few years ago, liberating its occupied lands.

    That is, the Armenian politician's statements lack even minimal logic and common sense and are designed mainly to please the domestic audience with jingoism and to prevent the reintegration of the Karabakh Armenians into Azerbaijani society. It's easy to figure out why the Armenian prime minister makes such intimidating statements at a time when the Azerbaijani leadership is urging the representatives of the Karabakh Armenian community to sit down at the negotiating table to discuss urgent issues of their reintegration and their future as full citizens of our country.

    It is clear that the practical implementation of the plan proposed by Baku runs counter to Pashinyan's interests, since in Armenia it could be perceived as a 'complete surrender of Karabakh' and thus inevitably lead to the loss of his power. Therefore, it is more convenient for the premier to continue deceiving his people, convincing them of the existence of a so-called 'Karabakh Defence Army'. Although he surely understands that there is no other way out but to reintegrate the region into Azerbaijan and make peace with Baku.

    Azerbaijan does not need a new war on its territory, it is enough that we consistently return the key positions under our control. And this is happening in parallel with calls for the ethnic Armenians of Karabakh to gather around a common table and start a direct dialogue. The argument that frank and constructive dialogue should not be delayed further is the Azerbaijani military's taking control of several heights and roads between the villages of Jagazur and Zabukh in the Lachin district in connection with the commissioning of the new Lachin road.

    As for the checkpoint on the border with Armenia, the issue of its installation is non-negotiable since such control is required to prevent any illegal activity on the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan. Last week the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry declared the necessity of a border checkpoint between Azerbaijan and Armenia at the endpoint of the Lachin road. And it did so immediately after the Armenian side once again tried to use unpaved roads to the north of this road to smuggle ammunition for its illegal armed formations. In response to this provocation, Baku called on Yerevan to refrain from trying to exacerbate the situation in the region and to honour its commitments and reported the installation of checkpoints.

    Amid the increasing transportation of manpower, mines, and other military equipment from Armenia to its paramilitary gangs in Karabakh, Pashinyan's statements on the illegality of the checkpoints are an interference in the internal affairs of a foreign country, i.e. Azerbaijan.

    So, Baku has a full right to accuse Yerevan of abuse of free passage and bring this fact to the attention of the international community. By the way, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has already notified the UN Secretary-General António Guterres about this: the letter of the Azerbaijani minister, in particular, indicated that the checkpoint on the Lachin road is installed in full compliance with international law.

    It is also indisputable that after the introduction of border control and, most importantly, after the signing of a peace treaty, this road and this checkpoint will provide legal transport links between Gorus and Khankendi. Provided, of course, that Armenia complies with the appropriate customs procedures.

    And one more detail. Another provocative statement by Pashinyan, which he voiced at the March 30 meeting of the Armenian government, claiming that last week "Azerbaijan made another incursion into the Russian peacekeepers' area of responsibility," is a clear attempt to bring tension to the Russian-Azerbaijani relations. However, Pashinyan's adventure is also obvious to Moscow. And no matter how much Yerevan hopes to clash Baku and Moscow, they will not succeed. Baku is competent in its actions and will act only following its national interests, which, in contrast to the militarist policy of Yerevan, is by no means outside the bounds of international law.

    It is high time for Pashinyan to learn exactly these tenets, instead of reassuring his people with empty promises that are infinitely distant from reality.


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