YEREVAN, July 2. /ARKA/. An Armenian political analyst Levon Shirinyan said today that Azerbaijan’s military buildup in its exclave Nakhichevan means opening a new front against Armenia.
On June 30 and July 1 a skirmish between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops on the border between Nakhichevan and Armenia were reported. According to Armenian sources, Azerbaijani troops attempted to build new engineering structures to strengthen their positions. The Armenian troops fired back destroying and burning one of the enemy’s positions. An Armenian contract serviceman Vahagn Baghdasaryan (born in 1974) was slightly wounded in the skirmish.
According to Shirinyan, in addition to the Karabakh front, there is now a second one opening in Nakhichevan. Shirinyan said the reaction of the Armenian side, which destroyed the Azerbaijani military position, is correct and the official Yerevan should continue this ‘model of behavior.’
“After the velvet revolution in Armenia, I see changes in matters concerning relations with Azerbaijan. Our strategy should be based on preventive strikes, and the destruction of the Azerbaijani military position in this regard should be greeted,” the political scientist said.
According to Shirinyan, if Azerbaijan tries to commit new provocations, it must be punished.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh.
Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year. On April 2, 2016, Azerbaijan launched military assaults along the entire perimeter of its contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh. Four days later a cease-fire was reached.