YEREVAN (ArmenPress)—Former Russian Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Vladimir Kazimirov touched upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the context of recent hostilities in the Karabakh-Azerbaijan contact line. “Armenpress” reports Kazimirov noted at the start of the article that much has been said about the terms and complexities of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The former ambassador relayed that the conflict was unusual in terms of its stakeholders, implying that Armenia was closely affiliated as well.
Kazimirov mentioned that the military onslaught of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh on April 2 was the largest in-scale and most bloodiest military operation since the establishment of the ceasefire regime 22 years ago. In his words, the long-lasting negotiations for the settlement of the conflict did not refrain Baku from using force again.
“There needs to be a comprehensive examination of the controversial actions of Azerbaijani leadership during each regime of that country. The political struggle for the fate of Nagorno-Karabakh moved to the battlefield, which was the first armed conflict in the Soviet Union. No doubt, Baku was the initiator of the use of force. Since then, Baku has changed both its military and political-diplomatic policy many times. It is a pity, but Baku continues to neglect its commitments assumed by signing the ceasefire documents. Three months before the establishment of the ceasefire, on February 18, 1994, the Defense Minister of Azerbaijan signed a record together with the Defense Ministers of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh about meeting in Moscow, where the sides were obliged to withdraw their troops from the contact line after the ceasefire agreement. But later, Baku refused to withdraw its troops, resulting in deliberate incidents in the future. This is one of the main reasons of the tension today,” Kazimirov wrote.
He added that the announcements of state officials and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs demonstrate that the side that violated the agreements is not responsible, because the statements of condolences are nothing but an attempt to not offend the country. “Here a question rises. Should the calls have urged to respect commitments? During the rule of Heydar Aliyev, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan ordered to avoid ceasefire violations and even punished those responsible for violations. The same was done in Nagorno-Karabakh. Is a similar method possible nowadays? On the contrary, we have never heard of any punishment. It is known how Baku glorified murderer Ramil Safarov after ax-murdering Gurgen Margaryan in his sleep. Ilham Aliyev always speaks about the return of ‘occupied territories,’ forgetting that Baku’s wrong calculations caused the conflict to resurface,” the article reads.
Kazimirov states that the root of the conflict is over the territorial status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and Baku refuses to solve the issue.
Kazimirov believes it is an urgent problem, and the international community and mediators understand the games Baku persists on playing. “It is time to be more assertive and call it how it is and display the malicious behavior of the political leadership of Baku,” Kazimirov concluded.