On September 27 last year, we were subjected to large-scale aggression by Azerbaijan, which was directly and openly assisted by Turkey and mercenaries brought from the Middle East. Third President of Armenia, chairman of the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan on Wednesday stated this in his address at the international videoconference, entitled "Global challenges of the 21st century: Interparty dimension," which was taking place within the framework of the events dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the ruling United Russia party.
He, in particular, added as follows: "The war, where weapons prohibited by international law were used, had catastrophic consequences for my people—taking the lives of thousands of young people, leaving tens of thousands homeless, and throwing hundreds of our compatriots into inimical captivity, most of whom Azerbaijan still detains and tortures in Baku prisons more than a year after the war.
Taking advantage of the behavior of the weak and populist incumbent authorities in Armenia, as well as the leniency of interested external forces which three years ago helped them to come to power for some objectives through well-known technologies, Azerbaijan still encroaches on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, intimidates civilians of border settlements, provokes military clashes and continues to capture new [Armenian] soldiers.
The army and the diplomatic corps, which were completely destroyed by the populist regime in three years, could not resist the Azerbaijani aggression.
I reaffirm once again that this is not the defeat of our people, but of a group of criminally irresponsible demagogues.
We thank the leadership of the Russian Federation for its efforts to end active hostilities, as well as for ensuring the safety of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh [(Artsakh)] through the deployment of the peacekeeping contingent, and call on them to stand firmer in the positions of maintaining the ceasefire.
I also call on my colleagues to unconditionally support the approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s peaceful settlement, which is based on the fundamental principles repeatedly voiced by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
The recent snap elections in Armenia did not become a way out of the deep crisis. We just entered a new period of hell with the continuing Azerbaijani aggression, this time in the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia. In the context of recent regional developments and challenges, the vital interests of the Armenian people should not be ignored, the destructive and unjust consequences of the war should not be considered as a new reality. We have not come to terms with this situation—and this is not revanchism.
I want to state once again before all the participants of this representative forum that the Artsakh issue is not resolved, that the issue of the right of the citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination is not subject to bargaining, that Armenia shall remain a sovereign regional player and a strategic ally of Russia."