YEREVAN. – You are aware that we had an incident on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border this morning, and I consider it important to inform what happened. Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this at Thursday’s Cabinet meeting of the Government of the Republic of Armenia (RA).
"Six servicemen of the RA Armed Forces were carrying out equipment work the border in the sovereign territory of the RA. Land mining works have been carried out, and I would like to clearly stress that they were carried out with the installation of warning signs; that is, they were not made for sabotage purposes. These actions were taken to increase the level of protection of our border. Of course, later there was information already that our soldiers were captured [by Azerbaijani military]. The circumstances, of course, have yet to be clarified, but this is not, in fact, captivity; the abduction of our servicemen from the RA territory has taken place. You are aware that units of the Azerbaijani armed forces’ units also are located in those areas since May 12, and the issue is in this very context. I want to specially emphasize that the ongoing processes are absolutely unacceptable for us. Incidents of this kind take place because some people want to see to it that we get used to the presence of Azerbaijani forces in our territory—which cannot happen.
It should be noted that the incident took place in our territory; our six servicemen had a task of equipping the border, which is constantly happening along the entire border. I consider it very important in this case that the issue should not be used for internal political purposes at all.
I believe that all attempts to use this situation against the [Armenian] army and the armed forces should be condemned," Nikol Pashinyan stated.
He added that the incidents taking place in recent days show that this is not an ordinary situation at all, as an attempt is made to present, in particular, by the Azerbaijani authorities. "This is a direct danger threatening Armenia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, which is a gross violation of international law. This is the case when the RA should use all those international levers to correct and regulate the situation; we will take all necessary measures for that.
It is very important to provide clear information about what happened and its context, so that Azerbaijani disinformation is not disseminated, including in the Armenian media domain. I believe that our society today should be even more united around our army, state institutions so that we can overcome this situation," said the acting premier.
He emphasized that the two objectives of the adversary should be registered and managed: "One of the goals is to develop the situation so that the presence of their armed forces in our territory is considered as a normal thing. The second scenario is to provoke a military confrontation to take the situation out of control. We should not pay tribute to either of these goals. The Azerbaijani armed forces must unconditionally leave the RA territory. Second, we will be clear-headed, prudent in all situations; we must prudently manage provocations. The RA armed forces must fulfill their functions of guarding and strengthening the borders, maintaining territorial integrity. No matter how difficult situations we are going through today, nervous and unbalanced actions, statements, postures are not appropriate at all," Nikol Pashinyan concluded.