Armenian troops were kidnapped, not captured – Pashinyan on Azeri military’s seizure of 6 soldiers from Gegharkunik

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YEREVAN, MAY 27, ARMENPRESS. Caretaker Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan commented on the May 27 incident on Armenian-Azeri border.

“Six servicemen of the Armenian Armed Forces where carrying out engineering works of the border on Armenian sovereign territory, landmining works were carried out, moreover I want to specially emphasize that these works were carried out parallel with installing warning signs,” Pashinyan said, adding that these works were done to raise the level of protection of the Armenian border.

Pashinyan said the circumstances surrounding the six Armenian troops being taken captive must be determined, but he emphasized that what happened is actually a kidnapping of Armenian troops from Armenian territory.

“The ongoing processes are completely unacceptable for Armenia and incidents like this are happening because some want us to adapt with the presence of Azerbaijani forces on our territory, which can’t happen. I find it very important to emphasize over this incident that this issue should not be used for domestic political goals, I think that all attempts to use this situation against the army and armed forces must be condemned, because our troops, the army are fulfilling their function of protecting the borders of the Republic of Armenia,” Pashinyan said, adding that the ongoing situation is a direct threat to Armenia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, a gross violation of international law, and that this is the case when Armenia must use all levers.

“I think our society must be united around our armed forces, the army and state institutions. The demand is clear, the Azerbaijani armed forces must unconditionally withdraw from Armenia’s territory, and Armenia will be sober in all situations and the management of provocations must be done maximally prudently. The armed forces must continue carrying out their functions of preserving the protection and strength of the Armenian borders and territorial integrity. As difficult as the situation is today that we are going through, emotional and unbalanced actions and statements are totally inappropriate.”

Editing and Translating by Stepan Kocharyan

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