Pashinyan denounces Azerbaijani authorities for militaristic statements

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YEREVAN, June 18. /ARKA/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan denounced today Azerbaijani authorities for their militaristic statements, saying they are aimed at making Armenia and Artsakh look at the Karabakh issue through the prism of fear.

“However, since the Armenian people have no habit of perceiving the Karabakh issue through the prism of fear, Azerbaijan’s bellicose policy is stalling,” he said during a government Q&A session in parliament.

According to the prime minister, the problem of Azerbaijani authorities is that they have no idea about how to explain to their people why this policy yields no progress.

“In order to answer this question, Azerbaijan raises militaristic rhetoric to a higher level to make a greater impression on its people, but stomping on the ground only deepens,” Pashinyan believes.

Based on this, the head of the Armenian government appealed to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev saying he should take a constructive approach and agree with the conflict settlement option, according to which the solution should be acceptable to all parties.

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.

In the early hours of April 2, 2016 Azerbaijan, in gross violation of the agreements launched a large-scale offensive along the entire Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, using heavy weaponry, artillery and combat aircraft. Only thanks to the decisive actions of the Defense Army, which gave a fitting rebuff, on April 5, Azerbaijan was forced to ask, as in 1994, through the mediation of the Russian Federation for the cessation of the hostilities. It has been generally maintained, despite the recurrent violations by the Azerbaijani side.

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