On may 18th, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group, in his statement recorded the last voltage on the contact line of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan, noting that the escalation has occurred in the result of ceasefire violation by the Azerbaijani side. Recall that the Azerbaijani Armed forces a few days ago launched a missile attack in the direction of Karabakh, damaging military equipment, including anti-aircraft missile system “OSA”.
“According to information gathered from several reliable sources, on may 15, the Azerbaijani armed forces fired a missile, which crossed the contact line in the Karabakh conflict zone, striking at military equipment. The evening of 16 may and 17 may, Armenian armed forces fired back with mortars of various calibres. The actions of both sides constitute significant violations of the cease-fire and disturbing,” — said in a statement.
Acknowledging that conflicting information about the losses, the co-chairs noted that they and the office of personal representatives of the OSCE Chairman-continue to collect information and analyses to produce more complete and accurate picture of the current situation. “The co-chairs condemn the ceasefire violations on the contact line between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan, and urge the parties to take all necessary measures to prevent the further growth of tension in the conflict zone,” they concluded the intermediaries. The same theme was addressed by the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. “According to information from various sources, may 15, with the Azerbaijani side had fired a military facility located on the other side of the line of contact. Accordingly reacted the other side. Data on the nature of the object, the extent of the damage, as well as the presence of victims among the personnel contradictory. I once again stated Russia’s principled position on this matter. Russia, as a country-mediator of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution condemns the deteriorating situation in the conflict zone and calls on all parties to immediately take all steps to stop the escalation.”
Constantly and especially after the four day war in April, balanced and issue statements about Azerbaijan’s provocations, makes Azerbaijan even more rampant and cause discontent among the Armenian side. Official Baku, as you might expect, criticized the latest statement of the co-chairs. Azerbaijani foreign Ministry described it as “unfair and biased”. Official representative of Azerbaijani foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev noted that “the Azerbaijani armed forces located in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan”, and you can do anything you want. At the same time, Gadzhiev has not denied the fact of firing. He noted that the OSCE Minsk group, guided by the Madrid principles, first and foremost, needs to demand that Armenia withdraw troops from the “occupied territories”.
In Armenia and NKR are satisfied with the latest statement of the OSCE MG co-chairs. During a meeting with the chief Secretary of the Council of Europe Torbjern Jagland, foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian stressed that Armenia has always urged the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group names mark the side of the aggressor responsible for violating the ceasefire: “Rejecting the establishment of an investigation mechanism Azerbaijan tries to escape responsibility for periodic violations of the truce, but yesterday’s non-standard co-chairs ‘statement clearly indicates the guilty party”.
By the way, before launch of the Azerbaijani armed forces on may 15, Minister of foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan decided to talk about the “content” of the meeting of the foreign Ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan on April 28 in Moscow. “After the Moscow meeting I was under the impression that the establishment of peace in exchange for withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territories might, in other words — according to the logic of territory in return for peace” – this statement was made by the Minister of foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, adding that he considers possible new meeting of foreign Ministers of the two countries.
Minsk group co-chairs plan to in the near future to visit the region, this was previously reported by American Ambassador Richard Hoagland, stressing: “the Parties must not only confirm their allegiance to the preservation of the ceasefire, but also to celebrate how are you going to implement essential activities to build confidence, around which agreements were reached last year in Vienna, and later in St. Petersburg.”
The co-chairs have apparently had no choice but to respond proportionately to the regular licentiousness of Azerbaijan. In the end, Azerbaijan, for many years in opting for a military solution to the problems, criticized the activity of OSCE MG. After the four day war in April, the situation has changed: the co-chairs try to keep the duration of the negotiation process in a difficult situation, without betraying, however, forgotten the agreements reached during last year’s meetings in Vienna and St. Petersburg. This is exasperated by official Baku, but, apparently, the patience of the co-chairs are gradually excised. Of course, the latest statement of the co-chairs is not a guarantee that Baku will not resort to provocations. On the contrary, Azerbaijan continues its policy, to test the vigilance of the international community and the Armenian side.
However, it should be noted that the co-chairs ‘ statement of may 28 was not the first address statement. In January 2015 the co-chairs broke with tradition on 27 January in Krakow after a meeting with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarova issued a statement with remarkable emphasis, for the first time observing the tradition of “equalizing” calls. Two years ago the co-chairs ‘ statement said that the Azerbaijani foreign Minister expressed their deep concern at the attacks on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the contact line, in consequence of which there were victims, and then noted that the rise in violence that began last year, should be discontinued to restore confidence and progress in the process of peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Later, the co-chairs directly, said: “We call on Azerbaijan to stay true to his duties on the peaceful settlement of the conflict. We also call on Armenia to apply to reduce the tension. All parties must follow the agreement on the observance of the ceasefire”. They also noted: “We reminded the Minister of foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan on the mandate of the OSCE Minsk group (the competencies), the role of the Minsk group co-chairs and the duties of OSCE monitors and expressed concern at the criticism, coming to the ongoing negotiation process.”
Thus, it’s time that the Armenian side has reached diplomatic superiority over Azerbaijan, despite the obvious impasse in the Karabakh negotiation process.
Official Yerevan needs to put a higher bar, until a diplomatic blocking of the militaristic policy of Azerbaijan at the level of heads of co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk group. Perhaps only as a result of a precise and coherent actions of the Minsk group and the Armenian side will be possible to prevent the ignition of a new war.