In the early hours of February 25, 2017, the Azerbaijani armed forces attempted an attack on the positions of the Defense Army of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), which was neutralized by the military units of Artsakh. The incident was the most serious violation of the ceasefire by Azerbaijan after the April war of 2016. Like in last April, it followed the systematic and deliberate steps by the Azerbaijani side on the gradual escalation of tensions, to which the mediators responded by untargeted appeals for restraint.
The incident of February 25, 2017 is another proof of total disregard for the commitments assumed by Azerbaijan in the frameworks of the agreements of 1994 and 1995, as well as the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg. It is obvious that by increasing the degree of tensions on the Line of Contact the Azerbaijani side tries to check not only the combat capability of the Defense Army of Artsakh, but also the reaction of the international community to the use of force.
It was the absence of international community’s strong and targeted assessment of actions of Azerbaijani authorities on disrupting the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict and preparing for war that to a certain extent, created a situation, taking an advantage of which, Baku considered it possible to unleash a military aggression against Artsakh in April 2016.
The escalation of tension on the Line of Contact, provoked by the Azerbaijani side, only deepens the distrust and postpones the prospects for a final resolution of the conflict. We believe that the response to the provocative policy of Azerbaijan must be refraining from making untargeted appeals to the parties of the conflict and increased efforts on the practical implementation of the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg on strengthening the ceasefire and creating conditions for the resumption of the negotiation process.