STEPANAKERT—Speaking about the recent escalations in violence at the line of contact between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, Spokesman for Armenia’s Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisyan on Friday said that it is likely that Azerbaijan’s increased aggression is connected to the Armenian Genocide’s one hundredth anniversary. Responding to suggestions to bolster the frontlines in Artsakh with Armenian forces, the Spokesman said, “The Armed Forces are properly performing their duties, and there is no urgent need to involve the reserves.”
“If we respond to Azerbaijan following the ‘eye for an eye’ principle, large-scale military actions will start the next day, where we’ll have tens of thousands of losses,” Hovhannisyan said.
Responding to questions from some journalists about what they called Armenia’s seemingly “passive” response to Azeri aggression, Hovhannisyan said, “The things we lament – that is, the victims and the wounded – and would like to reduce the number of, is unfortunately not something anyone can practically achieve.”
Armine Sadikyan, a coordinator of “peace projects” at the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly, warned against attributing the losses in the military only to the violations of ceasefire, claiming that the fatalities caused by such violations accounted only for 25 percent of deaths from 2010 until 2014.
Tensions in the Artsakh conflict zone have steadily increased since August last year and have resulted in dozens of deaths between the Armenian and Azeri sides. The rise in tensions has been largely attributed to Azerbaijan, with the moderating OSCE Minsk Group explicitly blaming Azerbaijan in February for its continued violations of the ceasefire.