Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday told his cabinet that the Azerbaijani ambush of an Artsakh Police vehicle, which left three officers dead, is Baku’s way of aborting negotiations between Azerbaijan and Artsakh.
He emphasized a statement by the Artsakh Foreign Ministry, which affirmed Stepanakert’s commitment to ongoing discussions with Azerbaijani officials and called it an “extremely important statement.”
Pashinyan stressed the need to create reliable international mechanisms for uninterrupted and institutional dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert, which he said “can become an effective guarantee for the realization of the above-mentioned international agreement.”
The prime minister also said that with Sunday’s ambush on the Artsakh police Azerbaijan is seeking to advance its false narrative of weapons and ammunition transport from Armenia to Nagorno Karabakh.
“This topic is important for Azerbaijan especially after the February 22 decision of the International Court of Justice, which unequivocally rejected Azerbaijan’s request to apply an interim measure against Armenia over alleged planting of landmines. The court’s rejection ruined the groundless accusations against Armenia about landmines, which have been on all international platforms for several months now, and this was extremely important,” Pashinyan said.
He said that Azerbaijan attempted to portray Sunday’s ambush as proof of the alleged weapons transfer, but it did not succeed because the targeted Artsakh police vehicle was leaving Stepanakert and not en-route to the Artsakh capital. Furthermore, Pashinyan said, the movements of the police vehicle were captured on Artsakh Interior Ministry cameras.
Pashinyan said that Azerbaijan used “bloody terrorism” to weave new scenarios that can be perpetuated on social media outlets, in an attempt to cover up Baku’s failure to comply with the International Court of Justice decision regarding the opening of the Lachin Corridor.
“Therefore, it becomes more and more urgent to send an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor to prevent unleashing of new aggression by Azerbaijan and the evident plotting by Azerbaijan to subject the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to ethnic cleansing and genocide, which can be seen by Baku’s failure to comply with the decisions of international courts, continued blockade of the Lachin Corridor, military provocations and acts of terrorism,” Pashinyan said.