Armenian military vows ‘preventive and tough’ actions after fresh deadly ceasefire violation

Armenian military vows ‘preventive and tough’ actions after fresh deadly ceasefire violation

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In connection with the death of an Armenian soldier as a result of a ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan at the northeastern border the Defense Ministry of Armenia has said that the Armed Forces will carry out “preventive and tough actions”.

On December 14 evening, at one of the defensive positions near the village of Movses in the Berd area of the Tavush province, 26 -year-old contract serviceman Hrant Poghosyan was killed with a shot fired from the Azerbaijani positions. Poghosyan was a resident of the town of Berd, he was married and had one child.

In a statement released today the Defense Ministry reported that in response to the call of the Minsk Group co-chairs for showing restraint in terms of military actions made at the November 5 meeting, Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan issued an order according to which during this whole period the Armenian side did not fire a single shot. The December 14 incident, the Ministry continued, “once again shows that the Azerbaijani side, disregarding the calls of the OSCE Minsk Group, continues to ignore the ceasefire regime, particularly during the period of the cochairmen’s stay in Baku.”

Although deaths of soldiers at the volatile Armenian-Azerbaijani border and along the line of contact near Karabakh are not rare, the latest deadly incident is the first since the meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia that took place in the Austrian capital of Vienna on November 19 as well as the December 5 meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Kiev, Ukraine.

Political analyst Tigran Abrahamyan says that the reactions coming from Azerbaijan had led one to assume that Azeri officials, at least in their public statements, tried to show that there was an acknowledgment of the fact that continuing negotiations was a necessity, and a major factor of their productive process is, at least, the creation of an atmosphere of confidence between the parties.

According to the analyst, against the background of the activity observed in the negotiations recently there are different reasons for such a manner of action by Azerbaijan.

“In Azerbaijan they think that the strengthening of the ceasefire regime and negotiations taking place within a constructive realm are against their interests and they are trying to bring in additional tension in this process. Secondly, there is an uncontrollable situation in the [Azerbaijani] army, which, regardless of the will of political leaders in Azerbaijan, results in unpredictable incidents,” says Abrahamyan, adding that regardless of the causes of this incident, one should state that it has proved a blow to the process, which will lead to additional tension.