YEREVAN. – Yesterday morning, the Azerbaijani armed forces carried out a provocative operation and crossed the Republic of Armenia state border at the Sev Lake section. I want to say that since yesterday, in fact, there has been no significant change in the situation, and the situation remains the same. Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this at the beginning of Thursday’s Cabinet meeting of the interim government of Armenia.
"This means that there are Azerbaijani soldiers nearby Sev Lake, and there is also a large number of presence of our soldiers there. But I want to say that the situation has not reached military escalation; that is, there is no skirmish or clash. Work has been underway since yesterday to take the Azerbaijani soldiers out from that area.
First of all, let us record that what happened was a pre-planned provocation because the Azerbaijanis have obviously falsified maps with them, with which they want to substantiate that they are inside the borders of Azerbaijan. It is obvious that the maps are fake, and this can be seen in comparison with the officially approved maps back in the Soviet times. This shows that we are dealing with an organized provocation.
Of course, the most important question is how it was possible for the Azerbaijani soldiers to cross [into Armenia] and pass through our intermediate territories and reach Sev Lake. This is a separate issue that will definitely be considered.
(…). The Ministry of Defense and the National Security Service [of Armenia] have denied the circulating misinformation about hostilities, the existence of the wounded, the casualties. And before giving a complete assessment of the situation, an assessment of the situation was made and complete information was provided.
We must take this situation very seriously because, in fact, we are dealing with a crisis that may have several scenarios for further development. Our task is that the sovereign territory of Armenia shall remain and be inviolable, and the armed forces of Azerbaijan must withdraw to the initial positions [of theirs]," Pashinyan added.
He noted that work is underway at the scene. "After today's government session, we will have a Security Council session, we will discuss the situation in more detail, the developments that took place since yesterday, decisions will be made on ensuring the future managing of the situation.
(…) we at least have a situation that needs to be taken very seriously. Here we must act prudently, decisively, principledly, and the state bodies must coordinate their actions, we must ensure a high level of cooperation to resolve the situation. Of course, it is the wish of all of us that they [the Azerbaijani troops] return to the initial positions [of theirs] just as they came [from there], and we must solve this problem," the acting prime minister of Armenia said.