STEPANAKERT, NKR (A.W.)—Armenian serviceman Marat Danielyan (b. 1984) was killed in an Azerbaijani attack on the northern direction (Talish) of the Line of Contact (LoC) at around 6:30 a.m. on April 21, according to a press statement released by the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR/Artsakh) Ministry of Defense (MoD). The ministry did not release additional details, but announced that the incident is currently under investigation. The ministry also announced that Azerbaijani forces were fully responsible for the latest escalation of violence on the LoC.
In a separate press release, the MoD announced that Azerbaijani Armed Forces violated the ceasefire agreement at least 70 times, firing various caliber weapons on Armenian positions along the LoC— southeastern (Hadrut), eastern (Akna), and northeastern (Martakerd) directions—on the night of April 20-21. During this time, Azerbaijani forces fired at least two 60-mm mortars and two shells from an AGS-17 grenade launcher.
The same day the attack claimed Danielyan’s life, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov began a two-day visit to Yerevan, in what some speculate will be Moscow’s attempt to work with the “Kazan document.” In early April, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan responded to an announcement made by Lavrov in Baku, which referred to “existing agreements on the table”:
“The document of Kazan introduced to the sides in 2011 is on the negotiation table. Azerbaijan denies accepting it irrespective of the fact that it had been agreed with Baku in advance. We have talked about it many times. During the Kazan meeting Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev had submitted ten new proposals and in fact, wrecked the principles of the settlement,” Balayan told ArmenPress on April 7.
The Kazan plan is based on the so-called Madrid proposals of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group and implies an Armenian withdrawal from several districts outside Nagorno-Karabagh proper, the introduction of peacekeepers, and a referendum on the region’s status, reported ArmeniaNow.
At a press conference on the morning of April 21, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said that Lavrov’s visit is to discuss a wide-range of issues regarding Armenia-Russia relations. “Naturally, after the recent Azeri aggression, the NKR settlement issue cannot be avoided during the discussion,” Kocharyan reportedly said. In response to a question that a special document has been prepared to discuss NKR negotiations, Kocharyan said that there is no such document, reported ArmenPress.
Two days earlier, at around 9:50 a.m. on April 19, Armenian serviceman Gevorg Gevorgyan (b. 1996) was killed by Azerbaijani fire on the southern direction of the LoC, according to a press statement released by the NKR MoD, which also said that the NKR Defense Army remains resolute in monitoring the LoC.
Armenian MFA Condemns Azerbaijan
In a statement released today, Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MFA) said that it strongly condemns Azerbaijan’s attempts to cast doubt on the trilateral ceasefire agreement signed by Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabagh, and Armenia in 1994, and reiterated that the agreement does not have time limitations.
“It is a dangerous step which threatens with further destabilization of the situation in the region. The aggressive military actions launched by Azerbaijan at the beginning of April could not result in the cessation of the 1994 agreement, rather they raise the liability of the party which violated it,” read a part of the statement.
Commenting about the negotiations on NKR under the auspices of the OSCE, the ministry said that “Azerbaijan strives to portray the negotiations as a kind of a process that discusses solely those issues which fit Baku’s interests.” The statement concluded by saying that decisive steps necessarily, in order to “bring Azerbaijan to order and into a constructive mood.”
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West