ArmInfo.The Republic of Armenia unilaterally handed over to Azerbaijan all maps of minefields in its possession, despite the absence of such an obligation both in the framework of tripartite statements and in the framework of international law. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan stated this in an interview with Armenpress, referring to Baku's groundless accusations relating to the location of the mines.
He also recalled that Yerevan expressed its readiness to cooperate with international partners to help decipher the transferred maps.
"At the same time, I consider it necessary to emphasize that mines in Nagorno-Karabakh and neighboring regions were planted during the First Karabakh War, and this was mainly carried out by Azerbaijan, which controlled these regions during the first war. The calls of the Armenian side for cooperation remained unanswered, moreover, Azerbaijan in every possible way created obstacles to the implementation of demining work. In 2017, as a result of manipulating the issue of providing assistance to Armenia in this area, Azerbaijan even blocked the activities of the OSCE Yerevan office," Mirzoyan said.
According to him, the report of the International Committee of the Red Cross for 2019 recorded that during their mission, 747 people became victims of mines in Nagorno-Karabakh, 59% of whom were civilians, and this is in the case when the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh began to count the number victims from mine explosions only since 2004.
"Regarding Azerbaijan's publications that the Armenian side has deployed Armenian-made mines in Nagorno-Karabakh, I must record that the Azerbaijani side found the presented mines not in Nagorno- Karabakh, but in the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia occupied by Azerbaijan in 2021- 2022, they are currently trying to use these mines for propaganda purposes.
We do not deny that the Armenian Armed Forces are carrying out mining work on the sovereign territory of Armenia and this is due to the constantly high risk of new military aggressions from Azerbaijan, which we witnessed in May and November 2021, as well as in September 2022," the Head of the MFA of Armenia added.
He recalled that during this period, Azerbaijan also carried out similar aggressive actions in Nagorno- Karabakh, especially in February and August of this year, thereby proving that the population of Nagorno- Karabakh needs self-defense forces in order not to be subjected to ethnic cleansing.
" As for the Azerbaijani accusations that the units of the Armenian armed forces continue to be deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh, then this also does not correspond to reality in any way. In order to verify the authenticity of our claim, Prime Minister Pashinyan even offered to send an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh, which was rejected by Azerbaijani President Aliyev," Mirzoyan concluded.
It should be noted that earlier Azerbaijani propaganda, in order to justify the aggression of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces against the sovereign territories of Armenia and the civilian population of Artsakh, began to disseminate information that allegedly Russian peacekeepers were transferring weapons and anti-personnel mines to the NKR. This information was refuted by both the Russian and Armenian sides. According to experts, with these actions, the enemy is preparing the ground for new aggression.