Baku is losing its temper and intimidates OSCE MG co-chairs with war – interview with Hayk Kotanjian
A November 27 meeting of the CIS Defense Ministers Council in Astana was marked by a series of loud statements made by Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Safar Abiyev. The Azerbaijani defense minister finds quite possible a military confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. According to him, until the Azerbaijani territories continue to be occupied by Armenia, a possibility of war is almost 100%. A REGNUM correspondent has had a talk with the director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the Armenian Defense Ministry, Maj.-Gen. Hayk Kotanjian.
REGNUM: Mr. Kotanjian, what was the goal of timing the statements of the Azerbaijani defense minister to summing up the results of the CIS Defense Ministers Council?
Safar Abiyev’s announcement made on behalf of the Azerbaijani authorities about the so-called 100-percent readiness to waging a war against Armenia was timed to the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs for Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement in Madrid and to outcomes of the CIS defense ministers council meeting in Astana. The statement cannot be treated otherwise but like an attempt of harsh military and political pressure upon the position of the Minsk Group co-chairs – the USA, Russia and France. At the same time, the fact that the Azerbaijani defense minister concluded his participation in the Astana meeting with an announcement of waging a war in the strategic territory of the CIS must be assessed as a public action to undermine reputation and effort of CIS authorities in securing peace and safety within frameworks of the Commonwealth.
REGNUM: Is it possible that the Azerbaijani defense minister from the CIS rostrum speak with such statement about the war under his own initiative?
The statement, deriving from assessment of political reality was made under an instruction of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in the form of threats from the minister and the general, who was told to intimidate in a martinet-style, without diplomatic tricks, not only co-chairs of the Minsk Group, but the European Union, the UN and the OSCE as well by a war on the threshold of Kosovo proclaiming its independence.
REGNUM: Do you think, if there any coincidence between the threat of a military intrusion of Turkey into Iraqi Kurdistan and the threat of Azerbaijan worded by Abiyev as a means of political manipulation by the international community?
The similarity in the ways of Turkey and Azerbaijan exploiting the threat of unleashing a war as a means of forceful and political pressure upon the international community is quite evident.
The gist of the processes that are gradually leading to Kosovo declaring itself independent and possible recognition of it by a number of world powers is to a significant extent reflecting the logic of legitimate forming, activity and possible recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. Judging by the action in Astana, the Baku leadership reacts to the unfolding political process by losing temper and provocative coercive demarches.
REGNUM: What possible reaction of the Armenian side can follow the statement of the minister of the neighboring country?
The Armenian defense minister made it clear in his comment that Armenia takes the agreements within the Minsk Group with full responsibility. In response to the provocative actions of the Azerbaijani leadership, the Armenian side keeps cool and assured in the inevitability of punishing the aggressor in case the war is renewed.
The Azerbaijani authorities need to think it over that repeated threats from the official Baku have resulted in an urgent need to change the paradigms of the negotiation process to reach lasting peace between the Armenian and Azerbaijani nations as a result of peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. These are the war-mongers in Baku that by destroying the resource of the Nagorno Karabakh peaceful settlement within frameworks of the Minsk process and trust in the Minsk Group, pave the way for inviting interested parties in conducting the talks not under the formula peace for territories, but under the model peace in exchange for peace. Recently, Deputy Chair of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Vahan Hovhannisyan has announced it clearly in development of the proposal we made earlier.
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