Lragir (Armenia): consequences for the Azerbaijani leadership would be disastrous

Lragir: How do you assess the events in the Tavush region, which has already received wide international response? A statement issued by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group. CSTO convened an emergency meeting, but then postponed it indefinitely.

Mikayel Zolyan: what happened on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border should be condemned. This is another provocation. Azerbaijan over the years has repeatedly resorted to such actions. In recent years, relatively rare, but we always knew that such actions possible. This time the Azerbaijani side received a harsh response from the Armenian army, and I think we had the opportunity to see what positive changes have taken place in our armed forces over the past 2 years.

As for international reaction, we will see comments, in particular, the Russian foreign Ministry, EU. Usually, the international community calls to refrain from such actions. Of course, we work with all international organizations and provide information about who provoked the escalation. But further steps are already in the area of responsibility of these organizations, and a clear reaction comes from their interests. It is important to understand that Armenia is able to defend themselves, regardless of the position of international organizations. But for the reputation these organizations, they should give an accurate assessment.

— CSTO usually refrains from assessments of Azerbaijan’s actions. In such conditions Armenia can expect from the CSTO?

— Cooperation with this organization as a whole was useful for Armenia, it contributes to the modernization of our army. It is also important bilateral Russian-Armenian cooperation. So, we very much appreciate all this, but expected a clear stance of the CSTO, which is in the interests of this organization and its reputation rating.

— Can we regard these events as an attempt of resumption of hostilities or invasion of Azerbaijan?

— While this is a local operation, but we are ready for any scenario, the army is ready to fulfill any combat mission. Instigating a large-scale action contrary to the interests of Azerbaijan in particular. If the Azerbaijani leadership completely lose your mind and go for large-scale military operations, it is expensive to pay for it have first and foremost to the people of Azerbaijan. Although we know that the Azerbaijani leadership is not particularly interested in his people, however, the consequences will be catastrophic first of all for the Azerbaijani leadership.

Such provocations were before the April war of 2016, in 2014 and 2015. Is a favorite hobbyhorse of Azerbaijanis — to provoke an escalation on the border, accompanying the bellicose statements. But the potential of the Armenian army is not to compare with what it was 5-6 ago, and any such provocation will get a much tighter response. In General, given the political situation in Azerbaijan, the beginning of military action would be madness for the leadership of this country.

— Does the leadership of Azerbaijan such actions to solve internal problems?

— This factor is clearly important, but now coincided several factors. First — people are tired of dictatorial Aliyev and his family, which had ruled since the early 1990s. Now in Azerbaijan occur inter-clan clashes. All impact and becomes clear, for example, as the accusations against Mamedyarov (Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan — approx. ed.), the SGB visit to the foreign Ministry and so on.

— How do you assess the fact that Russia calls for restraint to both sides?

— With such appeal are all international mediators, and I would not allocate to Russia. All these calls play a role. In fact, the only exception was the call of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Turkey, who unequivocally supported Azerbaijan and tried to inspire. But it’s understandable as the Turkey — almost a party to the conflict. Otherwise it could not be.