Expert: Separatist provocations must be thwarted in Karabakh
By Vugar Khalilov
Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the Russian Natsionalnaya Oborona (National Defence) magazine, a political scientist and military expert, has stated that Armenian separatist provocations in Azerbaijan's Karabakh must be stopped, Day.Az has reported.
The initiative of the so-called "Secretary of the Security Council of Karabakh", Vitaly Balasanyan, to conduct "fire training exercises" on Azerbaijani territories, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed, as well as the adoption of a certain "law on the occupied territories" by the mythical "parliament of Karabakh," are both provocative decisions and actions. They run counter to the logic of a peaceful settlement and violate tripartite statements, as well as subsequent high-level agreements reached by the Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders.
Korotchenko described the so-called military exercises conducted by Armenian separatists as “inflammatory” actions.
"In fact, this is an attempt to legitimately use various kinds of provocations, sabotage and terrorist acts that the separatists are preparing to commit. Well, at the same time they improve their skills in these actions. An absolutely unacceptable decision, contrary to the norms of international law and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which must be stopped by all available political and other means. I believe that it is necessary to do this, and not to observe how the situation will develop," the military expert emphasized.
Commenting on possible measures to prevent provocations by the Armenian separatists, Korotchenko noted that the OSCE Minsk Group has exhausted itself in the format in which it was conceived. Therefore, the organization can do nothing in this matter.
"First of all, political pressure from Russia is necessary, since Russia is one of the initiators of the tripartite statement. Unfortunately, the main point of this document has not been fulfilled, this is the withdrawal of illegal Armenian armed groups from the territory of Karabakh. Since this main basic point has not been fulfilled, we are already observing all other unlawful provocative actions. Therefore, in practical terms, everything must be done today, at the political level, first of all, to start this process," he stressed.
Korotchenko underlined that an appropriate political decision and measures should be taken to resolve the problem in real terms.
He added that the issue cannot be postponed or ignored endlessly pretending that nothing is happening.
“The basic point of the tripartite statement and all subsequent agreements is that all illegal Armenian armed groups must leave the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Secondly, it is obvious that the bodies that illegally administer some processes on the part of the separatists should also be disbanded. It is necessary to work out in practical terms the question of how the Armenian population of Karabakh will be integrated into the Azerbaijani society. The main obstacle on this path, I emphasize once again, is the illegal Armenian armed formations, the complete withdrawal of which is one of the basic conditions for the peaceful development of the situation in the region," Korotchenko concluded.