Baku Calls Armenia ‘Cancer’ of Region
BAKU—The head of the political analysis and information support department at the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Elnur Aslanov, commenting on a recent statement by commander of the Russian military base in Armenia, Colonel Andrei Ruzinskiy, said, “Azerbaijan has never been so strong and independent, as President Ilham Aliyev has said repeatedly. Our republic possesses strong military potential and pursues an independent policy,” 1News.az reports.
Colonel Ruzinskiy last week stated that if Azerbaijan decides to impose jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force, the Russian military base may enter the conflict in accordance with contractual obligations within the CSTO.
“In this case it is Azeri lands that have been occupied; over a million of our citizens have become refugees and internally displaced persons. We have never encroached and will never encroach on someone else’s land,” the official said, adding that in this case the issue is about “restoring jurisdiction” over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The official mentioned nothing about the record of human rights abuses in Karabakh under Azeri jurisdiction.
“If peaceful negotiations do not yield fruits, we are ready to use other methods to restore our legitimate jurisdiction over the territories of Azerbaijan in line with international law. And no one, even those people who voice statements contradicting the official stance of the countries they represent, will be able to stop us,” the official said.
Aslanov then accused the Armenian leadership of not being in favor of peace. Commenting on the prospective upcoming meeting between the Armenian and Azeri presidents, the official said, “I hope that after the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents, the preparation of which was recently announced by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Yerevan will be more decisive and constructive in the conduct of the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
“Armenia’s position, aimed at maintaining the status quo in the conflict, has turned it into a cancer of the region. This is compounded by the fact that the country is in deep crisis, including economic,” said Aslanov, calling Yerevan “irrational” and claiming that Armenia’s policies are “surprising” to the West and the East.