ArmInfo. "What is happening now threatens not only the Armenians of Nagorno- Karabakh, it threatens Russia in the Caucasus, because Azerbaijan shoots at Armenians, but ends up in Moscow and Russia. Because this is part of an emerging plan to expel not only Armenians from Nagorno- Karabakh, but also Russia from the Caucasus. This is my deep conviction," Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin said in an interview with govoritmoskva.ru.
He noted that the Russian Federation, firstly, must immediately demand a cessation of hostilities and shelling that are currently taking place. "I read the statement of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, where it is called a counter-terrorist operation. This is a rather strange operation in which artillery strikes are carried out on areas and objects. Obviously, this is just a cover up under the name "counter-terrorism".
In fact, we are talking about the continuation and implementation of the plan to expel the Armenians from this territory, who, I repeat, have lived there for centuries. And you know what surprises me most, although it would seem that nothing should surprise me anymore. I read today Mr. Markov, in his telegram channel, who said that the war will be short-lived and victory will be for Azerbaijan. Hurray, hurray, hurray. People who have long established themselves here as haters of Armenians - this is their own choice - these people are not really betraying Armenians. They are betraying Russia's interests in this region.
We have taken on a peacekeeping mission. We took it upon ourselves in South Ossetia before, we took it over in Abkhazia. In both cases, the attack on, say, South Ossetia, became the prologue to our operation to enforce peace. I don't want to call for such a response immediately, but I do want to say that this is a blatant violation of the agreements that were previously reached. Pashinyan is a scoundrel. But what does this have to do with the punishment of the scoundrel, who, by the way, long ago disowned his compatriots in Nagorno-Karabakh; his statements once again confirm this? And the fact that Azerbaijan is achieving its goals in the region in such ways is actually qualitatively different from what the Turks did at the beginning of the 20th century during the First World War in relation to the Armenians. What was recognized everywhere, including here, as genocide?" Zatulin said.
Answering the question about whether one of the goals of this operation is to drive the Russian peacekeeping contingent out of there or to call in some other one, Zatulin noted that he does not think that any other contingent other than the Turkish one will suit Azerbaijan. <In fact, it is not very clear where the Azerbaijani Armed Forces end and the Turkish ones begin, if you look closely. It's not a matter of changing the contingent. The fact is that if this operation continues and leads to battles, then in this case our peacekeepers will find themselves, firstly, under attack. Because I don't know of any bullets or bombs that, you know, clearly select targets during these military operations. And in no case, God forbid, will any of those serving there in the peacekeeping contingent be affected. Two thousand people. But the very fact that they are there at this moment and are not able to - either do not receive commands, or cannot, in principle, resist this - means a reproach to the Russian Federation. The reproach of the Russian Federation, which sent its soldiers there for a peacekeeping operation, seemed to have reached an agreement with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan. And today this agreement is simply thrown down the drain, because hostilities have begun. And I think that if they grow, then not only Azerbaijan will take part, but also Iran after some time.
Speaking about whether Azerbaijan will now limit itself to attacks specifically on Karabakh and what Baku's statements about the opening of a "green corridor" mean, the State Duma Deputy noted: "This is a green corridor - just read: a corridor for the deportation of Armenians, which is the goal of this operation.
Zatulin again called Nakol Pashinyan a scoundrel: "It's obvious that he's a scoundrel. But, you see, it means, on the basis that he is a scoundrel, to punish innocent women, children, old people and the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh in general... But this is too Jesuitical.
In his opinion, objectively, these people (in Nagorno-Karabakh) should be helped by the tough position of the Russian Federation, which should call to account those who carry out the shelling. <And the cynicism of this whole story also lies in the fact that this happens almost on the second day after the humanitarian corridors were opened. Here the help of the Red Cross passed along the road from Azerbaijan and from Armenia from both sides. They accepted this humanitarian cargo and after that they began a military operation," he noted.
"I can say, unfortunately. We are tied to the situation in Armenia, to the fact that Armenia itself does not declare goals of resistance. Here, the Pashinyan government has worked hard enough to weaken all ties and alliances between Russia and Armenia. But we are obliged to think about our honor as peacemakers, as mediators, and that means taking steps. I'm sure these steps are being taken, it just needs to be done loudly and not quietly. In this situation, it must be done loudly, because in fact hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people are looking at us, not only in Armenia and Azerbaijan, taking into account the diasporas that are scattered all over the world," Mr Zatulin said.
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