Azerbaijani forces opened fire on Armenian military positions on Monday in the Verin Shorzha region of the Gegharkunik Province, defense authorities reported. This attacks follows a similar one late last week, after which Azerbaijani authorities, once again, cut off the gas supplies to Artsakh, continuing its violations of human rights and the ceasefire.
The attack on Monday happened between 7 to 7:30 p.m. local time, with Armenian authorities reporting no casualties.
On Friday, Azerbaijan again halted the gas supply to Artsakh, it what has become a norm during the three-month long blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the only road connecting Artsakh to the outside world.
Artsakh presidential adviser David Babayan lamented that the International Court of Justice “did not see” Azerbaijan’s intermittent halting of the gas supply as a deliberate action by Baku.
“It is interesting to know what the distinguished judges of the UN International Court [of Justice] think about this. And what do they think about the fact that in Baku they don’t just ignore, but mock the [court’s] decision to ensure unhindered movement through the Lachin corridor? Dear judges, isn’t it insulting?” Babayan added.
In speaking to News.am, Babayan, who has been stuck in Yerevan since the December 12 blockade of Artsakh, said that negotiations between Stepanakert and Baku would be possible only under conditions that the sides have equal footing in the talks.
This was in direct response to Azerbaijani officials, who have extended an invitation to Artsakh authorities to discuss, in Baku, ”integration of the population within Azerbaijan,” a topic that has been rejected as an agenda item by Artsakh.
“With this ‘proposal’ conveyed through the media, Baku once again is demonstrating that it is not even going to hold negotiations. First, as for the negotiation process, Artsakh has always been in favor of negotiations and peaceful settlement. But the negotiations can take place only between equal parties, with the participation of international mediators—in the person of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. The Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Armenia format was specified back in 1994,” said Babayan.
“Let us remind Baku that there is no ‘Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh.’ The Artsakh Republic is a state, even if it is unrecognized. And being unrecognized for Azerbaijan is not an obstacle at all, as evidenced by its ties with the so-called ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ and Taiwan,” added Babayan, who emphasized that invitations to such negotiations are not extended through the media.
He also called for international mediation in Artsakh, reiterating that Baku is scoffing at the decision by the International Court of Justice.