Yerevan Says Baku Will be Held Responsible for Further Provocations
A soldier of the Armenian Armed Forces was killed in the early hours of Monday by Azerbaijani sniper fire at the northeastern section of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported that Ashot Mikayelyan was killed at around 1:10 a.m. local time Monday when Azerbaijani forces used sniper fire against Armenia.
Mikaeyelyan is the the sixth soldier who has been killed since Azerbaijan launched a brazen attack on civilian and military targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province on July 12.
Last week, 19-year-old private Artur Muradyan, who was severely injured during the heavy fighting in the week of July 12, died. Armenia’s Defense Ministry had reported the deaths of Major Garush Hambardzumyan, Captain Sos Elbakyan and privates Smbat Gabrielyan and Grisha Matevosyan a week earlier.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry was quick to condemn Azerbaijan’s continued provocations at the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, saying Baku was undermining the efforts of international mediators who are attempting to de-escalate tensions.
“It should be stressed that Azerbaijan resorted to this provocation a few days after a statement issued by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, which specifically emphasized the importance of strictly adhering to the ceasefire and refraining from provocative actions in this period,” Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan said Monday.
“At the same time, Azerbaijan announced joint large-scale military exercises to be held with Turkey. This demonstrates that the leadership of Azerbaijan, through its provocative actions, is undermining the efforts of the international mediators aimed at de-escalating the situation and resuming the peace process, thus bearing the responsibility for the consequences of further destabilization,” emphasized Naghdalyan.
“Azerbaijan should publicly renounce the use of force, abandon its maximalist approaches, and take credible steps to strengthen the ceasefire, which will make possible the resumption and advancement of the peace process,” added Naghdalyan.