YEREVAN (Arka)—Speaking Monday at a meeting of top military officials on the 23rd anniversary of Armenia’s armed forces, President Serzh Sarkisian said Armenia reserves the right to preemptive strikes in case of a “dangerous amassment of Azerbaijani troops along the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh or Armenia’s border.”
“We have no reason to wage a war, we do not provoke clashes and we never show aggression, we do not need it; however, we retaliate and will retaliate to all provocations by the Azerbaijani side,” Sarkisian said.
He added that, until now, the response of the Armenian side has been symmetrical in form and asymmetrical in terms of casualties.
“We have witnessed a lot of aggressive actions from the enemy this year. We sustained painful losses for which we grieve. I think no one doubts that Azerbaijan will pay dearly for the life of each of our guys,” Sarkisian said.
“They paid dearly, and will pay dearly in the future.”
Sarkisian said the purpose of aggressive actions by the enemy is to create constant tension around Armenia through the combination of political and military means.
“This policy is a simple blackmail, designed for the international community rather than Armenia,” said Sarkisian.
Sarkisian continued to explain that Azerbaijani authorities are ready to send hundreds and hundreds of their citizens to their deaths only to keep their posts, “but we cannot allow this to happen at the expense of the lives of our citizens and our soldiers. This cannot be done at our expense.”
“We are convinced that the right way is to negotiate and to continue negotiations to reach an agreement on the basis of known principles, and this is possible only in conditions of maintaining the ceasefire and building bridges of trust,” said the President.
“I once again declare publicly — we are ready for the good and for the bad. On my desk there are all possible scenarios. We can and must negotiate peace with sober-minded partners, but if we are to deal with a not so sober-minded enemy, we must compel him to peace and will do it,” said Sarkisian.