Minsk Group Co-Chairs Should Have Right to Impose Arms Embargo, Says Armenian Deputy FM

Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan
Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan

Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan

YEREVAN— During a press briefing on September 6,  Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan discussed a variety of issues concerning the rights of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the recent statement made about the Chinari village incident, and the recent scandal involving the Azerbaijani delegation in PACE.

When commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warning the United States against supplying defensive weapons to Ukraine, Kocharyan told reporters that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs should have the ability within their capacity to impose an arms embargo in conflict zones.

Russia’s arms sales to Azerbaijan as an indication of the country’s reluctance to establish peace in the Karabakh conflict was an issue that was brought up during the press briefing. Kocharyan explained that in regards to the Karabakh case, Russia would argue that if they did not provide arms, then other states would. He proposed that the concept of Co-Chairs having the ability as permanent members of the UN Security Council to impose a general arms embargo in conflict zones would rule out any justifications such as ‘if not us others would supply.’

The Deputy Foreign Minister acknowledged the difficulties in reaching a respective decision at the Security Council, but didn’t rule it as impossible.

In regards to the statement on the Chinari village incident, Kocharyan stressed that any statement on incidents at the border must be targeted, and not by the mediators, but by an investigative commission.

Kocharyan added that the primary purpose of the proposed investigative mechanism is to make it clear who was responsible for the incident and to have statements targeted by an investigative commission. “It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan is hindering the formation of this mechanism, despite it has assumed this commitment in St. Petersburg and Vienna,” Kocharyan said.

According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, unaddressed statements encourage Azerbaijan to continue with its aggressive offenses. Kocharyan also told reporters that as Azerbaijan continues with aggressive actions, the country’s relations within the international community have weakened.

And lastly, the scandal involving the Azerbaijani delegation in PACE, the criminal proceedings, as well as the attempts of Azerbaijani elite to briber European lawmakers is a slap for Europe, according to Kocharyan.

When discussing the recently revealed scandal about the new investigative report detailing how Azerbaijani elite used an estimated $2.8 billion slush fund to influence and lobby lawmakers in Europe and pay for extravagant purchases, the Deputy Foreign Minister told reporters that it’s no surprise that Azerbaijani President Aliyev  blamed the Armenian lobby.

“They say that the Aliyev family has nothing to do with it, but they don’t deny that any of this happened,” said Kocharyan.

He stressed that in a country where everything is controlled heavily by the government, the government is making it out to seem that about $3 billion dollars was taken out without their knowledge.

When asked whether Armenia benefit from this situation, Kocharyan concluded that these events show that Europeans no longer have patience. He also added that the trial taking place against the European lawmaker is a trial against Azerbaijan, figuratively speaking.

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