YEREVAN, July 23. /ARKA/. Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, in an interview with France 24 TV channel, answered the accusations of Azerbaijan that the Armenian side began the fighting on the border, the press service of the Armenian foreign ministry reports.
“We have been quite insistent on establishing measures to reduce risks of escalation and to investigate ceasefire violations. We are very insistent on that. We are very insistent on further measures including the expansion of monitoring, the establishment of a direct line on the ground. And those are the measures that will help us to control the ceasefire regime,” he said.
Therefore, according to him, Azerbaijan has not been very forthcoming to accept those proposals and to establish such measures which would deny opportunities for further ceasefire violations.
About escalation of tension on Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Since July 12, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been carrying out aggressive actions against Armenia in the north-east direction of the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border. The enemy attempted to violate the state border in the Tavush region of Armenia using a tank, mortars, howitzers, drones and Grad MLRS. The shelling targeted Armenian strongholds, several villages and the city of Berd. After the lull of July 15, on the night of July 16, Azerbaijan troops again attempted raids in the Aygepara section, but after suffering numerous losses, they was thrown back, continuing shelling of the settlements.
The Armenian Armed Forces is providing a proportionate response to periodic shelling and suppressing the enemy’s activity. For the entire period, the air defense units of the Armenian army destroyed Azerbaijan’s control system of UAVs, 13 drones, a tank and artillery batteries.
According to preliminary data, as of Thursday, 36 soldiers were injured as a result of attacks on Armenian strongholds (16 of them were light abrasions, 20 were hospitalized and received medical care, one was in serious condition), 4 soldiers were killed and 6 cars were damaged. As a result of shelling of peaceful settlements in Tavush, 24 houses, a brandy factory and a winery, a kindergarten, a cemetery, 4 cars, a water main, a gas pipeline and a greenhouse were damaged, as well as a police checkpoint, in which 2 police officers were injured. In addition, one civilian was also wounded. Azerbaijan officially confirmed the death of 11 servicemen, the Armenian side reported the death of at least 10 more Azerbaijani special service officers.