The main goal of escalation of the situation by Azerbaijan is to nullify the negotiation process and disrupt the course of further negotiations. PM Pashinyan
Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, a regular Cabinet meeting took place today.
Before discussing the issues on the agenda, the Head of the Government referred to the situation created as a result of the intensive shelling by the Azerbaijani armed forces early in the morning in the direction of the Sotk settlement of Gegharkunik Province of Armenia, and presented the main goals of Azerbaijan for aggravating the situation.
In his speech, Nikol Pashinyan, in particular, said,
“Dear participants of the Cabinet meeting,
Today, at around 06:00, units of the Azerbaijani armed forces opened intensive artillery fire in the direction of the military positions located in the Sotk settlement of the Gegharkunik Province of the Republic of Armenia, striking the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.
The intensity of shelling somewhat decreased after the adequate and effective retaliatory actions of the Armenian army. There are 4 wounded from our side, I wish them a speedy recovery.
These actions of the Azerbaijani side are provocative and aim, among others, to nullify the progress that was registered during the negotiations held on May 1-4 in Washington. Today's provocation is also aimed at disrupting the negotiations scheduled for Sunday in Brussels in a trilateral format, and in Chișinău on June 1 in a five-party format.
Experience shows that Azerbaijan needs the negotiation process only for an escalation and a reason for war, and escalations are used exclusively to nullify any progress made in the negotiations.
This is happening now. This is taking place now.
Yesterday's reports of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan about the violation of the ceasefire regime by our army are fictitious. This type of information is fabricated to aggravate the situation. If escalating the situation is not Azerbaijan's predilection, any local incident can be quickly resolved through information verification and exchange with existing contacts and preventive arrangements.
This did not happen yesterday for a simple reason: no incident was registered, and the Azerbaijani disinformation machine fabricated the news in hindsight to aggravate the situation. And the main goal of aggravating the situation, I repeat, is to nullify the negotiation process and disrupt the course of further negotiations.
But this is not the only goal, and the next one is to divert the attention of the international and Armenian public from the fact of setting up an illegal checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor, making to forget the old crisis by creating a new one in a new place.
This is the proven tactic of Azerbaijan. An attempt was made to vanish the September aggression into oblivion by blocking the Lachin Corridor with fake environmental activists. An attempt was made to vanish the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh into oblivion by crossing the state border of Armenia in the area of Tegh village. An attempt was made to vanish the violation of the border in the area of Tegh into oblivion by setting up a checkpoint in the Lachin corridor. By escalating the situation in Sotk, they are trying to make to forget about the installation of an illegal checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor.
Despite Azerbaijan's attempts, all these issues naturally remain on our priority agenda. Active communication with the international community on these topics should continue.
Dear participants of the Cabinet meeting,
I should also say that as of now I have not changed my decision to go to Brussels for Sunday's negotiations.
Also, I want to answer the following question, which I guess that in the near future, some forces may be storm in the already known scenario if I go to Brussels. How likely is it that a peace treaty will be signed with Azerbaijan on Sunday? Unfortunately, I repeat, unfortunately, such a chance is very small, because the draft of the bilateral agreement on the establishment of peace and interstate relations is still very preliminary and it is too early to talk about signing it. On the other hand, we have a task to bring to maturity that document as quickly as possible and prepare it for signing.
I must emphasize that with today's actions, Azerbaijan is questioning the fundamental agreements reached during this period, which were recorded on October 6, 2022 in Prague and on October 31 of the same year in Sochi. Those documents emphasize that Armenia and Azerbaijan recognize each other's territorial integrity based on the 1991 Declaration of Alma Ata. The question that arises in this context is as follows: if Azerbaijan recognizes the territorial integrity of Armenia, why is it shooting at the sovereign territory of our country? Especially given that according to the Sochi tripartite statement of 2022, the parties must refrain from the use of force and the threat of force.
Azerbaijan today again grossly violated these written public agreements, and in general, it is difficult to remember a jointly accepted document that Azerbaijan has not violated during this time.
Dear participants of the Cabinet meeting,
Since early morning, the Ministry of Defense publishes information about the situation practically every 15-20 minutes, sometimes more often.
I urge you to follow the official news and not to become a spreader of Azerbaijani and non-Azerbaijani false information. The Ministry of Defense will continue to publish periodic information.
I should also say that as of now, a significant decrease in tension is recorded, but it is still too early to consider the situation fully stable. Thank you."