Official Yerevan warned Azerbaijan on Monday against trying to exploit the political turmoil in Armenia to launch offensive military operations around Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Amid the internal political developments happening in Armenia these days, Azerbaijan is massing manpower, artillery and military equipment along the Line of Contact with Artsakh (Karabakh), which gives us grounds to assume that Baku is preparing for a new adventure,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said in a statement.
“Azerbaijan should not have any illusions that in the light of internal political developments in Armenia it could embark on any actions against Artsakh and realize its aggressive intentions,” he said. “When it comes to defending Nagorno-Karabakh, the people of Armenia stand united and will never allow any encroachments towards Artsakh.”
Nalbandian urged the United States, Russia and France, the three world powers spearheading the Karabakh peace process, to tell Baku to “withdraw its military equipment, artillery and manpower from the frontline” and respect ceasefire agreements.
In recent days, Karabakh’s Armenian-backed army has released purported video footage of Azerbaijani troop movements at various sections of the frontline. It said it is prepared to repel Azerbaijani attacks on its positions.
The Azerbaijani military has denied those claims, saying Yerevan is thus trying to distract Armenians demonstrating against their government.
Nalbandian’s statement came shortly after Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian stepped down as a result of the protests.