“This escalation is more dangerous than the previous ones due to Turkey’s unprecedented active involvement which poses a serious threat to the entire region. This involvement means that the South Caucasus will become a new zone for endless wars and destabilization,” former Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See Mikael Minasyan told Secolo d’Italia.
Question: Mr. Ambassador, heated battles have been taking place on the Karabakh-Azerbaijan line of contact for the past two days. What is going on there? Who ordered to fire?
Answer: On September 27, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale offensive along the entire length of the Karabakh-Azerbaijan line of contact, and Azerbaijan is unequivocally the one that gave the order. Escalation of the situation would favor neither Armenia nor the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The Armenian side has always announced its willingness to resolve the conflict only through peaceful negotiations, and these negotiations have been going on through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group for more than two decades.
However, Azerbaijan hasn’t renounced its maximalist position in any way and continues to reject the possibility of mutual concessions. Despite the fact that Armenia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and almost the entire international community have stated that the conflict has no military solution, Azerbaijan, taking advantage of the situation in the region and the world, is implementing the threats it has been making for many years.
Question: You mention that Azerbaijan was discontent with the negotiation, but, in essence, there haven’t been negotiations for the past two years. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan himself said this, making contradicting statements, saying that “Artsakh must return to the negotiating table” and “Artsakh is Armenia, period”. In essence, Armenia was the one that led the negotiations to a deadlock.
Answer: I don’t think now is the appropriate time to seek those who are guilty of leading the negotiations to failure. Even today, Armenia continues to stay true to its commitment to a peaceful settlement of the conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. Currently, it is the duty of each and every one of us to do the best we can to end the escalation as soon as possible. The bloodshed needs to be stopped.
Question: What is Azerbaijan striving for and what must be done to stop the bloodshed?
Answer: Azerbaijan’s plans are the same. As in the past, Ilham Aliyev still doesn’t hide the fact that he intends to empty Nagorno-Karabakh of Armenians and completely annex it to Azerbaijan. What is really new in this war is Turkey’s direct support to the genocidal plan for aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. This escalation is more dangerous than the previous ones due to Turkey’s unprecedented active involvement, which poses a serious threat to the whole region. This involvement means that the South Caucasus will become a new zone of endless wars and destabilization. In such conditions, the only thing that Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic can do is to lead a struggle in order to guarantee the right of the people to life and the physical security of the people.
Despite the military-technical excellence and Turkey’s unprecedented political, material and technical support, the Armenian side is still capable of preventing the aggressors. The Defense Army of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian Army have command of the tactics during the conflict.
I hope this situation forces Baku to take a step back and understand that the problem can’t be solved by force. However, if we want to prevent the bloodshed and reduce the number of losses and human tragedies, the international community needs to interfere with more confidence.