On June 1, the Azerbaijani side has blatantly violated the cease-fire regime, as a result of which a serviceman of the Artsakh Defence Army was killed. This premeditated killing was preceded by a disinformation campaign with fabricated accusations against Artsakh of alleged shooting of positions of the Azerbaijani army, which resulted in the death of an Azerbaijani serviceman.
In this regard, it should be noted that the Press Service of the Artsakh Ministry of Defence immediately reacted to the disinformation and assured of the strict compliance by the Artsakh side with the cease-fire regime.
It is obvious that this disinformation campaign by Azerbaijan aimed to create the necessary information background for the subsequent violation of the cease-fire. Both episodes are links in the same chain and may indicate Azerbaijan’s unwillingness to comply with its obligations to strengthen the cease-fire.
The attempt by the Azerbaijani side to initiate an escalation of tension serves as yet another evidence of the urgency of introducing an international mechanism of control over the cease-fire in the area of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict. As part of these efforts, it is necessary to finally start the implementation of the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg in 2016 on investigating possible cease-fire violations, as well as on expansion of the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office with a view to increasing their monitoring capacities.
Such a mechanism will allow not only to promptly respond to possible incidents, but also avoid mutual accusations of violations of the cease-fire regime and prevent the escalation of tension under false pretexts.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh expresses sincere condolences to the family and friends of deceased serviceman of the Artsakh Defence Army Sipan Melkonyan.