State Department Fails to Condemn Azerbaijani Aggression
STEPANAKERT, YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Ministry reported Wednesday that Azerbaijan deployed a battle tank to fire on Artsakh positions—the first time since the 1992 cease-fire agreement.
Armenia’s Defense Minister called the incident a further escalation of the fighting in an emergency phone call with the OSCE’s Assistant to Chairman in Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, who monitors the frontline activities on behalf of the body tasked with brokering Karabakh peace.
In an official statement, Ohanian said the OSCE Minsk Group should hold Baku accountable for this latest violation of the cease-fire agreement. He also added that the armed forces were actively responding to the Azerbaijani attacks.
The Artsakh Army announced the death of another soldier, 24-year-old Garik Avanesian, who was killed Tuesday night after Azerbaijan reportedly fired more than 300 mortar shells and 27 rockets toward Artsakh-Azerbaijan border positions.
Karabakh presidential spokesperson David Babayan condemned the attack and the deployment of a tank, saying there was no logical explanation for such actions.
“This is a challenge to the international community—a challenge to all the states carrying out anti-terrorism–because what Azerbaijan is doing is nothing but a classic manifestation of terrorism. It becomes impossible within such policy to expect progress in the negotiation process in the near future,” said Babayan.
He urged the international community to harshly condemn Azerbaijan for this latest escalation.
Last Friday, another Karabakh soldier, Erik Grigoryan, was killed near the village of Talish in the northern Martakert region, hours after the foreign ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairing countries—the US, France and Russia—issued a strong statement urging all parties to observe the cease-fire.
State Department Maintains False Parity, Fails to Condemn Baku
The State Department maintained the United States’ continued false parity, despite Azerbaijan’s deployment of a tank.
“Today we express our deep condolences to the families of those who died or were injured in recent incidents in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The recent escalation of violence and the use of heavy weapons are unacceptable and we call for the sides to strictly adhere to the ceasefire regimen,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby said at a briefing Wednesday.
“We also remind the sides that these attacks do not conform to the commitment by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully. Later this month the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs will hold the next presidential summit between the presidents. We call on the sides to take all steps to avoid violence and to improve the atmosphere for negotiations to take place in good faith at the summit,” added Kirby.