Statements made this week by the head of the European Union’s monitoring mission in Armenia, who did not rule out the possibility of an attack by Azerbaijan on Armenia, have angered Baku, which fired back by accusing the European official of perpetuating Yerevan’s “false and misleading” accusations.
“Many Armenians believe there’ll be a spring offensive by Azerbaijan. If this doesn’t happen, our mission is already a success,” Markus Ritter, the head of the monitoring mission, told the German Deutsche Welle in an interview.
Ritter explained that his mission was not allowed to monitor Azerbaijan’s side of the border, therefore troop movements in preparation of another potential attack cannot be detected by he and his colleagues.
“We cannot interfere, we only have binoculars and cameras at our disposal,” Ritter said.
The EU’s mission head added that Armenia not getting attacked this spring by Azerbaijan would be considered a success of the EU mission, which he believes is welcomed in Armenia.
In a statement on Wednesday, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Aykhan Hajizade accused Ritter of advancing Armenia’s “allegations,” and warned that the mission should not be “misused” to undermine the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan.