YEREVAN, August 20. /ARKA/. In connection with the commentary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, which attempted to distort the remarks of the President of the Republic of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunian, taking them out of the general context, the Artsakh foreign ministry considered it necessary to note the following.
“The President of the Republic of Artsakh stated very clearly about the inadmissibility of threats to shell Stepanakert and other settlements of Artsakh, which the Azerbaijani side regularly voices, including at the highest level. The military-political leadership of Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated its readiness to strike at any targets in Artsakh. In particular, once Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan instructed the rocket and artillery forces to ‘prepare for delivering devastating strikes’ on Stepanakert and other towns of Artsakh. It is noteworthy that the official representative of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry justified such threats by the fact that allegedly “there is no civilian population in Artsakh, but only the military and the field,” the ministry says in its statement.
It also says that seeking to conceal its aggressive policy, based on intimidation and terror, Azerbaijan, through the falsification of facts and deliberate misinformation of the international community, tries to attribute its own steps and motives of actions to the Armenian sides.
“It is Baku and not Yerevan or Stepanakert that regularly threatens to destroy strategic civilian infrastructure and the settlements in Armenia and Artsakh. By the official statements on its readiness to launch missile strikes on the Metsamor nuclear power plant in Armenia, on Yerevan and Stepanakert, to shoot down civilian planes flying to Artsakh, as well as by a whole range of crimes committed against humanity and war crimes, Azerbaijan demonstrates that it does not hesitate to use terrorist methods as its state policy,” the ministry says.
It also says that the Republic of Artsakh is ready to resolutely suppress any attempts by the Azerbaijani armed forces to attack the civilian population.
“The military airfield of the city of Gandzak (Ganja) or any other military location, which the Azerbaijani side tries to use for attacking the settlements of Artsakh, will become a legitimate target for the Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh. The statement of the President of the Republic of Artsakh is a warning about the futility of the attempts to get political dividends through threats and terror. The Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict has no military solution. The attempts to unleash another war will have disastrous consequences for the entire region,” the statement says.
About Karabakh Conflict
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it. Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations.
Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France.