Senior Armenian military official says Azerbaijan asked for ceasefire in Karabakh

According to a senior Armenian military official, it was Azerbaijan that had sought a ceasefire several days after renewing hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh early this month.

The ceasefire agreed between the chiefs of the general staffs of the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow on April 5 put an end to the worst escalation of violence in the conflict zone since the 1994 truce.

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service, deputy chief of the General Staff of Armenia’s Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobyan said: “This time we should also state that it is the Armenian soldier who again forced the enemy to cease fire.”

Hakobyan, who in the past also served as Nagorno-Karabakh’s defense chief, said that he believed Azerbaijan would “draw conclusions” from its actions. “If it tries to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict this way again, the response will be much tougher,” he said.

According to the senior military official, the Armenian intelligence had the relevant data on the Azerbaijani aggressive plans: “But the border of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is quite long and it was, of course, difficult to predict at what time and where the attacks would be launched.”

According to Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defense Ministry, 62 Armenian soldiers were killed in action and more than 120 were wounded in clashes with Azerbaijani forces. The fate of one Armenian soldier reportedly remained unclear as of Monday afternoon.