Armenia has strongly condemned Azerbaijan’s move to unilaterally denounce a 1994 ceasefire that had largely been held in Nagorno-Karabakh before the four-day hostilities in early April. It considers the letter to that effect disseminated by Azerbaijan at the UN General Assembly and Security Council on April 25 to be “provocative”.
After reaching a verbal agreement with Azerbaijan on cessation of deadly fighting in the conflict zone on April, the Armenian side believes it is necessary to return to the 1994-95 agreements signed between Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia that have no time limitations. This position was also reaffirmed by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Yerevan on April 22.
Armenia believes that by its letter dated April 14, 2016 Azerbaijan is “grossly breaches the May 1994 ceasefire agreement, as well as casts doubt on the July 1994 agreement on the reinforcement of ceasefire and the February 1995 agreement on the consolidation of ceasefire.”
A statement by Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses that the July 1994 agreement requires Azerbaijan to “maintain the ceasefire regime until signing of the big political agreement”.
“In this regard the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs already have expressed their position to Azerbaijan, including at the OSCE, in particular stating that 1994 and 1995 agreements, whose terms do not expire, as before, make up the foundation of the cessation of hostilities in the conflict zone. The Co-Chairs called on to strictly adhere to the above-mentioned agreements and not to permit their violation. Disregarding this call, Azerbaijan resorted to this provocative step,” the Armenian MFA said in a statement.
“It is necessary to underline that the oral arrangement reached in Moscow on April 5, 2016, to which Azerbaijan refers in its letter, was directed at the cessation of aggressive actions unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh and, as the Co-Chairs have stated, to restore the ceasefire regime. It is obvious, that the mentioned oral arrangement cannot replace the May 12, 1994 ceasefire agreement.
“The 1994 and 1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements have for years served as a basis for preserving the fragile ceasefire. Any harm to these agreements is a serious obstacle for the peace process, hinders the efforts of the Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman in Office and undermines regional security.
“Armenia urges the Co-Chair countries, the international community to immediately undertake all necessary measures to oblige Azerbaijan to strictly abide to the 1994 ceasefire agreement and to implement its international commitments to refrain from the threat or use of force.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia states that, taking into consideration the possible dangerous consequences emanating from this irresponsible step of Azerbaijan, and as a signatory party to 1994 and 1995 existing agreements on the ceasefire and the consolidation of the ceasefire, Armenia will exert every possible effort and carry out all necessary steps to guarantee the security of Nagorno-Karabakh and its population.”