The Armenian leader did not provide details as to when, where and under what circumstances the Azerbaijani military advancement took place. He only mentioned that this issue has been discussed by Security Council members since yesterday.
“Since yesterday we have had several meetings and discussions in this composition as well as in different formats. The subject of discussions was the fact of the incursion into the territory of the Republic of Armenia by the Azerbaijani troops in one of the eastern sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The purpose of today’s meeting is to summarize our discussions, as well as to give full information to our public about the events that have taken place,” Pashinian said.
The prime minister announced the dismissal of Arshak Karapetian as minister of defense and his replacement with Suren Papikian, who prior to that held the post of deputy prime minister.
Pashinian said that the decision was made “as a result of the analysis of the events unfolding since yesterday.”
Skirmishes at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border have been reported since the weekend. Some reports suggested advancement of Azerbaijani troops into Armenian territory. Official Yerevan, however, has not admitted any territorial losses until today.
During today’s Security Council meeting Pashinian said he had thanked Karapetian for his work as defense minister, at the same time telling him that “at the moment the situation has led me to the decision that there should be a change of the defense minister.”
According to an official statement, the Security Council heard the report by the chief of the General Staff of Armenia’s Armed Forces on the current situation, after which, according to Pashinian, the Security Council members would “analyze the situation and try to make a decision on our actions in several directions on the protection of our security, territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
Meanwhile, the Security Council of Armenia drew the attention of Russia, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the international community to “the ongoing aggressive actions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces”, emphasizing that “these actions are against Armenia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, regional security and stability, as well as the provisions of the November 9 trilateral statement.”
In its statement the Security Council said that at about 1 pm yesterday, in one of the eastern sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, units of the Azerbaijani armed forces invaded the sovereign territory of Armenia with the help of armored vehicles, with four military positions of Armenia’s armed forces being encircled. It said that as a result of negotiations the Azerbaijani military equipment and personnel were withdrawn from the territory of Armenia. According to the statement, the units of the Armenian armed forces were withdrawn from the above-mentioned four combat positions, “but the Azeri servicemen, who invaded the sovereign territory of Armenia in May, continue to be deployed in the mentioned area.”
Meanwhile, Baku has denied that its troops have invaded Armenia’s sovereign territory, insisting that Azerbaijani soldiers are stationed in the territories belonging to Azerbaijan.
“Azerbaijani servicemen are serving in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Leyla Abdullayeva, responding to statements from official Yerevan.