Bilateral reaction on Azerbaijani large-scale military drills - Official's statements | Eurasia Diary -

23 May, Thursday

Bilateral reaction on Azerbaijani large-scale military drills - Official's statements

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Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry announced large-scale military exercises on Monday. The exercises planned to hold from 11 to 15 March, involving up to 10,000 troops, 500 tanks, 300 missile systems and aircraft as well as other military equipment. Large-scale military drills were not missed by the officials of both sides.

Eurasia Diary represents you statements of Azerbaijani and Armenian officials about the Azerbaijani military exercises.

Azerbaijani side

Azerbaijan is not satisfied with the latest steps by Armenian side. Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan is insisting the participation of Nagorno Karabakh to the negotiation process. OSCE Minsk Group denied the proposal of the Armenian side and supported to continue the current format. Apart from this, Armenia started instruction of settlements in Fuzuli and Jabrayil (occupied by Armenia), which is a violation to the Geneva Convention of 1949.

The Armenian government continues its attempts to change the format of negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. He supported the current format of the negotiation regulated by OSCE Minsk Group. Mr Aliyev considers Armenian proposal as unacceptable.

"We do not want to threaten anyone with these exercises. Armenia is aware of the economic and military power of Azerbaijan. On the other side, Armenia must always be under pressure as occupant," vice-speaker Ziyafat Asgarov said.

Shair Ramaldanov, a retired colonel, a former corps commander shared his view about the drills: "I think that this is one of the options that can be used if Azerbaijan is forced to liberate the occupied lands by force, and restore its territorial integrity," he said.

According to his version, the exercises are held in the conditions as close as possible to those of possible military actions in Karabakh.

The exercises are routine and pre-planned, but at the same time they intend to remind the opponent of the reality of the new escalation, said Togrul Djuvarly, a Baku-based analyst and a member of the Azerbaijan National Public Committee for European Integration (ANPCEI). The likely new escalation of the Karabakh conflict can outweigh the "April war" of 2016, he believes.

Azerbaijani side accepts Armenian actions as a violation to the peace process. Armenian actions are seen as they have no intention to solve the problem and they are winning time.

Latest hardening position of Armenia is planned for internal policy of Pashinyan for gaining the consent of the Armenian population.


Armenian Reaction

The officials from the Republic of Armenia and the separatist regime of Nagorno Karabakh Republic reacted differently to the military drills of Azerbaijan. Some think that it will undermine to the negotiation process and some consider that there is no need to worry.

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan sees the military drills as a violation of international commitments to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Armenia’s Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan stressed that there is no need to worry about the military drills, in an interview with on 12 March.

“Holding military drills is itself a violation of international commitments, but at this moment, Armenia fully oversees the pace of the military drills in Azerbaijan. There is no need to worry.”

The spokesman for the Armenian Defense Ministry Artsrun Ovannisyan consider the planned military exercise to be an attempt to exert pressure in the context of the meeting between Pashinyan and Aliyev."

"We are not going to be scared, we will continue to develop and strengthen our country, increase the combat capability of our army, and conduct correct geopolitics. This is the key to resisting such aggression," Spokesperson for the separatist Nagorno Karabakh Republic president Davit Babayan 

Advisor to separatist Nagorno Karabakh Republic's President Tigran Abrahamyan shares his opinion about the exercises.

“There is always a high risk that large-scale military exercises may grow into a wary. The unpredictability can be the case only in a scenario when Azerbaijan starts holding periodic exercises near the border. If we lose our vigilance each time they are holding military exercises that can lead to a full-fledged war.”

After the military drills and OSCE Minsk Group's statement for the no need to change in the negotiation process, Armenia organized joint National Security Council in Khankendi capital of the separatist regime.

"Azerbaijan’s military drills sharply contradict the agreements of the OSCE Minsk Group in Vienna and Saint Petersburg, but even this isn’t an obstacle for us because of we ready to negotiate,” Deputy of the My Step faction of the National Assembly Hovhannes Igityan told journalists at the National Assembly on 13 March.

Igityan mentioned that the joint session of the National Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh were not a response to Azerbaijan’s military drills or the Co-Chairs’ statement.

Generally, Armenian officials accept the Azerbaijani drills as pressure on them and reaction against joint National Security Council in Khankendi.

Read al so: Azerbaijani Armed Forces Military Drills - A live-fire stage was held during the large-scale exercises - VIDEO


Armenian irritant actions such as holding National Security Council and instruction of settlement in occupied territories are accepted as a threat to the negotiation process by Azerbaijan. It urges Azerbaijan to hold a hard line on the conflict resolution. Azerbaijan doesn't intend any threat to any country but the hard reaction is needed to prevent such actions.


Ulvi Ahmedli

Eurasia Diary

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