ArmInfo. It is not good that the OSCE Minsk Group reacted to the Azeri sabotage attack on the Armenian border two weeks after the incident, Vice Speaker of Armenian Parliament Eduard Sharmazanov has told ArmInfo, when commenting on the OSCE Minsk Group's January 9 statement regarding the latest Azeri sabotage attack in Tavush province of Armenia.
"However, if the Co-Chairs' response was to be like their latest statement, they had better keep silence," Sharmazanov says. He notes that the Co-Chairs' statement, which equalizes the provocateur and the party striving for peace, fails to contribute to maintenance of stability in the region and encourages Baku to take new aggressive steps.
To note, CSTO Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha strongly criticized the Azeri sabotage attack on the Armenian border in Tavush province on 29 Dec 2016. He qualified Azerbaijan's actions as a provocation, and also recalled the April events in Artsakh, defining the latter as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This statement caused Baku's indignation. A few days later, Nikolay Bordyuzha was removed from office.
When commenting on the opinion that Bordyuzha was removed from office due to his statement, Sharmazanov says that these two facts have nothing to do with each other. "The decision that Bordyuzha would step down in early 2017 was taken during the CSTO summit in St. Petersburg in December, a few days before Bordyuzha's statement," Sharmazanov says.
To recall, on January 9 the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France, and Richard Hoagland of the United States), released the following statement: "Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of a December 29, 2016 attempted incursion on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border resulting in casualties. Armenian Armed Forces are still holding the body of an Azerbaijan serviceman killed in the fighting. Violations of the ceasefire are unacceptable and are contrary to the acknowledged commitments of the Parties, who bear full responsibility, not to use force. The Co-Chairs urge the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to strictly observe the agreements reached during summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg in 2016, including obligations to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism. The Co-Chairs also urge the return, without delay, of human remains, in accord with the agreements of the Astrakhan Summit of 2010, bearing in mind the exclusively humanitarian nature of this issue. We call upon the Parties to cease mutual accusations and undertake all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground. The Co-Chairs extend their condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers and to all Armenians and Azerbaijanis for whom hopes for the New Year have been darkened with the grief of senseless loss."
To note, on December 29 morning, the Azeri armed forces attempted a sabotage attack on the southeastern section of the Azeri-Armenian border near Chinari village of Tavush province of Armenia. Three Armenian servicemen were killed, while the adversary lost 12 servicemen.