Tension Over Territory: MOD says lost ground will be discussed during peace negotiations

Photo/ Photolure

Territory lost during four days of fighting in April are part of Nagorno Karabakh, and they will be addressed accordingly during negotiating process, said Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan.

Last week, a clamor was raised among the public due to a statement by Vahram Baghdasaryan, the head of the Republican faction, who said that the lost territories were deserted and uncultivated.

“I think we should not give such great importance to them. I openly declare that everything that had to be regained could have been regained within a couple of days, but the consequences of doing so could have been very serious. And this land in question had no strategic importance: it was uncultivated and deserted. We should not focus on this issue,” he said.

President Serzh Sargsyan told media that during the April war the Azerbaijani side captured 800 hectares of security zone, at the same time stating that the lost territories were of no strategic and tactical importance.

These statements caused anger with a number of hard-liners, particularly with Jirair Sefilian, a representative of the Founding Parliament, a coordinator of the New Armenia civil movement, who stated that he is ready to “restore the territorial integrity of Nagorno Karabakh”.

“Movement of troops occurs during military operations. The entire staff of the Defense Army carried out the task set in front of it. There is nothing to hide: there was some movement of troops, which is, today, under the supervision of the Defense Army’s units,” Ohanyan told media on Monday.

Asked whether these areas should be forgotten about, the minister said that like all other historical areas, these, too, must not be forgotten.

“Just as we don’t forget our historical territories, we can’t forget these territories, in the same way. That’s why we are creating a positional defense which will allow the Defense Army to take [the situation] under control in terms of effectiveness, initiative and target hitting,” he concluded.