The answer of the spokesperson of MFA of Armenia to the question of "Azatutyun" radio station

28 April, 2023

Question: The permanent representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations put forward eight preconditions, including the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno Karabakh, the liberation of eight occupied villages of Azerbaijan, the abandonment of territorial claims against Azerbaijan, which should be implemented by Armenia in order to improve relations with Azerbaijan. What is your comment in this regard?

Answer: First of all, it should be noted that the fictitious narratives and demands of the Azerbaijani side are changing day by day, and not only for the Republic of Armenia, but i think also for the entire international community, it is already difficult to follow the speculations of the Azerbaijani side.

An example of that is the Azerbaijani narrative about the blockade of the Lachin corridor. Since December 12 of last year, Azerbaijan first announced that the corridor was not closed, then the corridor was said to be closed by so-called "environmental activists", then when it was announced that the mine in question had stopped its activities, the so called "eco-activists" demanded that they inspect the Red Cross vehicles and humanitarian cargo passing through the corridor. Next, these actions began to be justified by the fictitious talks about transfers of mines, then, after the judgement of the International Court of Justice, they again began to declare that the corridor was open. Already on April 23, taking steps in the Lachine corridor aimed at setting up a checkpoint in flagrant violation of the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, showed the real purpose of the theatre organized at the state level for months.

Returning to the original question, it should be emphasized that the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia carry out their service exclusively in the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia. It is known that since the 1990s, in order to defend against the aggression carried out by Azerbaijan and to prevent mass violence against the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenians of Artsakh formed a defense army, which is still performing its service today, in order not to allow the implementation of the mentioned operations planned by Azerbaijan decades ago. The Defense Army was and remains relevant only because of the policy of ethnic cleansing carried out by Azerbaijan, including physical and psychological intimidation of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, murders, periodic violations of the ceasefire regime, blockade of the Lachin corridor, disruption of food and medicine supplies to Nagorno Karabakh, disruption of gas and electricity supplies. 

As for the eight villages raised by Azerbaijan at different levels, refreshing the memory of the Azerbaijani side, it should be noted that back in the 1990s Azerbaijan occupied Artsvashen, the arable lands of Vazashen and Aygehovit villages of Tavush region of Armenia, 70 percent of the arable lands of Berkaber and Paravakar villages, and as a result of the renewed aggression after the 44-day war, another 150 square kilometers. It is surprising that the occupation of territories by Armenia is being raised by officials of a country whose top leadership openly presents territorial claims towards the sovereign territories of Armenia, sometimes also declaring that the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not exist, therefore it is not violated by the advancement of its armed forces. More than once, the president of Azerbaijan has openly admitted the occupation of territories of the Republic of Armenia, threatening to occupy new territories through the use of force in case of non-fulfillment of his maximalistic demands.

Regrettably, Armenia's appeals to Azerbaijan to respect the borderline recognized by both countries still in the Alma-Ata Declaration, as well as to present legal justifications regarding some of the mentioned villages, remained unanswered. Moreover, the proposal of the Armenian side regarding the mirror withdrawal of troops from the borderline of 1975 also remained unanswered while it would definitely contribute to reducing the border tension and addressing a number of existing problems.

Armenia is convinced that it is possible to solve all problems only through constructive dialogue, and the policy pursued by Azerbaijan clearly does not contribute to the reduction of tension and the establishment of peace in the region.

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