Armenian provocateurs to face justice for border incident
    Acknowledgment marks positive turn in ties with Azerbaijan

    ANALYTICS  13 April 2024 - 12:56

    Babek Karimov

    On April 12 Armenian media reported that the National Security Service of Armenia presented the results of the investigation of the incident that took place on April 10 on the conditional Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the direction of Nerkin Khndzoresk.

    Let's recall that on that particular day, within the operational zone of the border combat outpost belonging to the distinct border division "Gubadli" under the Azerbaijani State Border Service (SBS), situated in the village of Jijimli within the Gubadli district, an incident of breaching the national border occurred. Two individuals were observed transporting around 200 livestock approximately 300 meters into Azerbaijani territory from the village of Nerkin Khandzoresk in Armenia.

    While attempting to prevent the violation of the state border, a border guard of the State Border Guard Service was shot at from a combat post of the Armenian Armed Forces, as a result of which Senior Lieutenant Rovshan Mammadov was wounded.

    As the National Security Service of Armenia noted, on April 10, an enlisted serviceman of the Armenian National Security Service's border troops, having learned that a shepherd and his flock had lost their way and ended up on Azerbaijani territory, together with his fellow servicemen decided to cross the border unauthorizedly and return the cattle, thus violating the rules of service, which negligently caused significant damage, led to a firefight and endangered the lives and health of people.

    "As a result of the incident, a serviceman of the Azerbaijani Border Guard Service was wounded. Expressing regret over the incident, the NSS took measures to ensure strict observance of service rules by the servicemen of the NSS Border Guard Service and to exclude similar cases," the Armenian special service noted.

    The press service of the Armenian National Security Service emphasized that based on the results of the official investigation a corresponding application was sent to the Investigative Committee, where a criminal case was initiated and the investigation is underway to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    Well, this incident can be viewed positively overall, as this time the military and political leadership of Armenia didn't resort, as usual, to shifting blame onto Azerbaijan for another armed incident along the conditional border. What happened is what should have happened — the culprits were identified and will be held accountable.

    However, it should be noted that the initiation of a criminal case in Armenia against the instigators of the armed provocation is also a success for Azerbaijan, which has repeatedly stated that it is not interested in escalation along the conditional border and that it has always been the Armenian side that disrupted the fragile peace along the conditional border. And now, this day has come — official Yerevan has acknowledged the guilt of its servicemen and will conduct an investigation. It remains to be hoped that this investigation will be objective and that those responsible for this incident will receive the appropriate punishment.

    It is necessary to note the fact that this time Azerbaijan showed patience and did not respond to the provocation, expecting that Yerevan would show common sense and actually find and punish those who fired on its border guards. And the Armenian side is well aware of how Azerbaijan can respond to shooting at its own servicemen.

    Let's not go far: on February 12, an Armenian sniper wounded an Azerbaijani border guard, after which the State Border Guard Service of Azerbaijan conducted Operation Revenge. The result of this operation was the elimination of a combat position of the Armenian Armed Forces, from where the Azerbaijani border guard was fired upon, and the elimination of four members of the terrorist organization Yerkrapah.

    Apparently, Yerevan, fearing the response of the Azerbaijani side, which would inevitably lead to casualties among Armenian soldiers, decided this time to abandon the usual demagogy and slander against Azerbaijan and made the only correct decision - to sort out and punish those responsible.

    It seems that now any Armenian provocateur who wants to shoot in the Azerbaijani direction will clearly understand that if he is not eliminated by Azerbaijani soldiers, he will be put in jail by his own authorities. Thus, the number of armed incidents on the conditional border will be drastically reduced. After all, unlike the Yerkrapah terrorists and the Armenian military conscripts who are called to duty at posts, Azerbaijani servicemen are disciplined and only return fire when ordered by their command.

    Apart from the direct participants of all incidents on the conditional border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, extra-regional forces are also to blame for the armed provocations, which fuel revanchist sentiments in Armenia. And we are talking, first of all, about France, which for a long time has been providing all kinds of diplomatic, economic, and recently also military support to Armenia through its malicious actions, undermining the prospects for peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

    "Armenia must be able to defend its sovereignty and its population. France assumes defence relations with Armenia and develops the strategic proximity between our two countries," was how French Ambassador to Armenia Olivier Decottignies expressed himself at the end of January this year, and a couple of weeks later, intoxicated by words of support, Armenian terrorists from Yerkrapah decided to launch an armed provocation.

    On February 21 this year, French President Emmanuel Macron, receiving Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the Elysee Palace, said France would continue to support Armenia in developing strategic infrastructure and provide military equipment "in a spirit of responsibility, without the desire to escalate tensions."

    "You can count on France's support for Armenia's independence, its territorial integrity, its democratic course and, basically, its desire for peace," Macron said.

    Macron then also stated that the recent events on the conditional border between Azerbaijan and Armenia indicate the existence of a "risk of escalation" on the ground. Apparently, Macron let slip knowing that provocations on the border would be orchestrated by the Armenian revanchists so dear to him. Indeed, immediately after his statements, there was increased unsuccessful shelling of positions of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan in the direction of Zangilan, Nakhchivan, and Kalbajar, as well as reconnaissance flights using quadcopters over Azerbaijani army positions.

    But still, one wants to believe that in Yerevan today, common sense prevailed — they decided not to believe the instigators, but to really deal with their own provocateurs. And this is the right decision, because, as practice shows, without the intervention of third parties in Azerbaijani-Armenian relations, many issues between the countries can be resolved in a normal manner, as evidenced by many examples. This includes the exchange of detained servicemen and mutual support for Baku and Yerevan in the issue of holding international events, and so on. Let's hope that further in Yerevan, the right decisions will be made in the interests of their country, and not in the interests of non-regional instigators.


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