VILNIUS—Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group between the Seimas of the Lithuanian Republic and the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh, Dalia Kuodyte, issued a statement regarding the Artsakh Air Force helicopter downed by Azerbaijani Armed Forces on Nov. 12. She noted in the statement that this provocation once again foils Azerbaijan’s unavailing efforts to present Armenia as an aggressor in different international instances.
“On the contrary, the incident once again proves that Azerbaijan is not interested in a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The talks recently held in Paris, attended by the leaders of the two countries, brought positive results. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan, once again demonstrating the real nature of its authoritarian state, brought all expectations to naught,” reads the statement.
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, an unarmed Mi-24 helicopter belonging to the Artsakh Air Forces was shot down by the Azerbaijani armed forces while conducting an exercise flight. The area where the helicopter was shot down has been under fire from Azerbaijani forces since the downing of the aircraft, making it impossible to retrieve the bodies of the pilots or to inspect the wreckage. Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan insists that inspection of the crash site will prove that the helicopter was unarmed and posed no threat.
According to Frank Engel, the chairman of the European Parliament Friendship Group with Nagorno Karabakh, this incident was the most serious ceasefire violation since the ceasefire was agreed to 20 years ago. He noted that not only was it a pointless step, but it also proved that Azerbaijan’s commitment to non-use of force has no value.
Kuodyte’s statement continues to say,”We believe that the faith in your country will remain steadfast, and this tragedy will even more strengthen your resoluteness in preservation and development of the state with the prevalence of democracy and human rights.”