The Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia presented the position of Armenia regarding the recent escalation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process
Dear colleagues and compatriots,
As you are aware, on July 12, Azerbaijan attacked our border positions in the Tavush region. The Armed Forces of Armenia did not only repel the attacks but also inflicted significant damage on the adversary.
The Azerbaijani side suffered numerous casualties, including military equipment and weapons with highly advanced technology. This is an explicit victory of military strength, tactics, and the military-industrial complex of Armenia.
The damage to the morale of the adversary was even stronger. The domestic political situation in Azerbaijan is not stable due also to these military activities. This is leading the Azerbaijani leadership to resort to new provocations in order to redirect the social dissatisfaction towards Armenia and Artsakh.
Amidst all these developments, I would like to outline several important points.
First, Azerbaijan initiated an attack against the sovereign territory of Armenia. I must stress once again that the military positions that were under the Azerbaijani attack during the last two weeks are within the sovereign territory of Armenia. Thereby, the accusations by Azerbaijan presenting the Armenian side as an aggressor are merely nonsense.
Azerbaijan launched an attack when Armenia was engaged in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, even though Azerbaijan was refusing to negotiate with Artsakh, the main party to the conflict.
All the attacks by Azerbaijan have been decisively repelled, and the Armenian side further strengthened its positions along the border. The Azerbaijani myth that its army can defeat the Armenian Army, and thus Armenia and Artsakh should make concessions has vanished.
For a long time we have been urging Azerbaijan not to talk with us from the positions of force, warmongering and threat of use of force. And now we can confidently say that Armenia has both rejected the threat of use of force on the diplomatic table and showed in the battlefield that those claims are unfounded and do not reflect the real balance of power. When saying the real balance of power, I do not only speak about the number of troops or armaments, but rather the overall quality of their military actions and the level of command.
Now we can confidently state that the Armenian Armed Forces and the Armenian Army not only demonstrated high combat efficiency, but also reiterated their reputation of the most efficient and intelligent army in the region. And this is not merely a statement, but a conclusion based on a detailed analysis of the events that have been taking place since July 12. Our army has been and remains the source of national pride and once again reiterated its status in the Tavush region.
It is also important that the Armenian society demonstrated unanimous support and confidence towards its legitimate government and armed forces. I would like to particularly emphasize the unity of our compatriots in Diaspora, their commitment to help Armenia, their wisdom and vigilance. Our compatriots in Diaspora once again demonstrated that we are united as a family, sole spirit and identity.
Dear compatriots, dear colleagues,
Over the past few days we demonstrated responsible and confident behaviour before the international community. We remained committed to three ceasefire arrangements, which were subsequently violated by Azerbaijan, each time causing new losses to its own armed forces.
We did not resort to the threats against the people of Azerbaijan and its civilian infrastructure even when the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan threatened to conduct missile attacks on the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. This threat should be subject to serious international investigation, because it depicts Azerbaijan as a terrorist state.
Since July 12, the international community issued numerous calls for cessation of ceasefire violations and hostilities. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the countries they represent have made a significant contribution to the restoration of the ceasefire. The engagement of the Russian Federation was particularly effective in this regard, which was expressed both on the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
The only country that attempted not to calm the situation, but rather to inflame the violence was Turkey. Considering the destabilizing and aggressive policy of that country in its numerous neighbouring regions, as well as its traditional anti-Armenian stance, expressed by the justification of the Armenian Genocide, such behaviour of Turkey was not surprising. Yet, its growing aggressiveness brings forward the need to reshape our policy, including the scope of our participation in international formats to deter Turkey's aggressive behavior.
Dear compatriots, dear colleagues,
There is no doubt that we have passed this test with victory, confident in our strength, in the resilience of our people and that of our society.
But we need to make some conclusions; we cannot ignore what happened. We cannot ignore the fact that for the second time after April 2016 Azerbaijan has used the military force amid the peaceful process, when there was a call by OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric. Azerbaijan used military force at a time when the world was mobilizing its capacities and resources in the fight against the pandemic that the humanity has encountered. However, we strengthened our positions after the victorious battles in July, and they are expressed in the following;
First: The common security system of Armenia and Artsakh needs to be further strengthened. In this regard, I attach an ultimate importance to our close cooperation with the Republic of Artsakh and bringing a new content to this cooperation proportionate to the existing threat.
Second: The Republic of Artsakh should become a full party of negotiations.
Third: Azerbaijan must publicly renounce the use of force and take credible steps towards refraining from the anti-Armenian rhetoric.
Fourth: The negotiations must be meaningful. Azerbaijan’s position that the negotiations are the continuation of war and they should help to address military objectives at the negotiation table undermines the meaning of the whole peace process. Negotiations can be meaningful if Azerbaijan is willing to pull back from its maximalist position and is ready for compromise. The recognition of the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh without any limitation and the security of the people of Armenia and Artsakh can not be conceded under any circumstances.
Fifth: In recent days, Azerbaijan has targeted the civilian population and infrastructures of several border settlements in the Tavush region. The countries, supplying weapons to Azerbaijan, must clearly realize that the use of those weapons against the civilian population constitutes a crime. It creates an impression that it is not Azerbaijan that is fighting against the Armenian Armed Forces and civilian population, but rather those international corporations that are supplying high-precision lethal weapons along with their specialists. This thirty-years-long conflict has severely damaged Armenia's borderline settlements and lives of people living thereon and in Artsakh, violating their political, economic, environmental rights, their right to free movement, among others. The approach that these rights can be exercised only after the settlement of the conflict is not acceptable. The needs of people, living in the conflict zone, must be a priority in the peace process.
Sixth: The ceasefire monitoring, that existed before the pandemic, has been in fact very limited. It is necessary to introduce effective international monitoring, which would be permanent and would have verification mechanisms in place to identify the side who committed ceasefire violations. Such monitoring activities can be implemented by the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, which accumulated years of experience in the region and can ensure the permanent presence of the OSCE observers along the state border and the line of contact.
The direct line between the militaries on the ground is an effective tool for preventing and responding to incidents.
Seventh: Armenia will continue working with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs toward the peaceful settlement of the conflict. We have decisively rejected and will continue to reject Turkey’s attempts to destabilize the region through the manipulation of this conflict.
Dear compatriots and colleagues,
The July victories showed that as a result of the 2018 Velvet Revolution, the democratization process, the fight against corruption, the reforms, the new concept for the development of the army, our society reached a new level of resilience and unity. We should be encouraged by this fact, and that enthusiasm should also be transformed into a daily creative work aimed at the further promotion of the political, economic, military and diplomatic potential of our country. We will win because our victory is the victory of justice, truth and humanity.