Azerbaijan is holding large-scale military drills these days. The OSCE Minsk group issued a statement on Saturday followed by the news of the joint Security Council meeting of Armenia and Artsakh in Stepanakert. Panorama.am turned to Tigran Abrahamyan, advisor to Artsakh Republic President to discuss the recent developments around the NK conflict.
Asked about the possible risks of the Azerbaijani drills, Abrahamyan said: “There is always a high risk that large-scale military exercises may grow into a wary. Since 2015, as a result of the modernization of the borderline, we have been able to observe all movements and accumulations of the adversary forces across the frontline. In this regard, the unpredictability of the adversary is virtually ruled out. The unpredictability can be the case only in a scenario when Azerbaijan starts holding periodic exercises near the border. If we lose our vigilance each time they are holding military exercises that can lead to a full-fledged war,” Abrahamyan said.
At a remark that Azerbaijani has failed to issue notification on the ongoing military drills in accordance with the Vienna document, Abrahamyan said Azerbaijan had a long record of ignoring international commitments and agreements as demonstrated with the latest example.
Abrahamyan declined to link the Security Council meeting scheduled in Artsakh to the OSCE Minsk Group statement issued on March 9, suggesting the meeting had been arranged earlier and couldn’t been arranged in one day. As to the opinion that the situation is explosive and on the eve a war, Abrahamyan didn’t exclude the situation can escalate into a war, yet the current situation and efforts exerted to prevent it from growing into a war have not been exhausted.
Asked about the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ statement and the prospects of the Artsakh involvement in the negotiations, Abrahamyan said: “The C-Chairs are trying to prevent the possible aggression of Azerbaijan which is explained by the recent harsh rhetoric and statements coming from Baku. It is no coincidence that the mediators underline the non-use of force in their text. On the other side, the Co-Chairs make reference to proposals I have no idea about the position of current Armenian leadership, so I will refrain from comments. The Armenian Prime Minister has presented in general lines the approaches and principles to proceed with the talks, specifically with Artsakh to be part of the negotiations. It is unclear yet what are the suggestions and agenda for Azerbaijan to return to the negotiating table,” Abrahamyan said.