Anastasia Lavrina

Almost two years have passed since the beginning of the Patriotic War in September 2020 in response to a large-scale provocation by the Armenian armed forces, which ended in a resounding victory for Azerbaijan and the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity. However, Armenia failed to learn the lesson and never learned to live in peace with its neighbors. Provocations in the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeepers in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, as well as on the official border, continue. Azerbaijani soldiers are dying in their native land from the bullets of the illegal armed groups of Armenia, which have not yet left the territory of Azerbaijan, although this was stated in the trilateral statement dated November 10, 2020. How to deal with those who, violating all legal norms, destabilize the situation in the region? What to do with illegal armed formations of a neighboring state located on the territory of another sovereign state? How to solve the problem if a neighbor does not understand the normal language of communication and, ignoring a signed with its own hand document, sends soldiers to kill people on the territory of a neighboring state? I think many of you will now answer that using force is the only right solution. And indeed, it is!

The “Revenge” operation, which lasted several hours, was a punitive measure. As President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev noted, « the blood of the Azerbaijani martyr cost the enemies dearly, and they should not forget that. » Armenia must understand that any such provocation will entail a corresponding response from Azerbaijan. If in Armenia they think that they can stop Azerbaijan by asking for help from other countries, then they are greatly mistaken. And those countries that may ask Azerbaijan to solve emerging problems peacefully, better put appropriate pressure on Armenia, an aggressor country that for almost 30 years kept 20% of the territory of a neighboring state under occupation, a country that burned and destroyed hundreds of cultural monuments, religious sites , and now continues to aggravate the situation by refusing to sign a peace treaty.

The Azerbaijani government is actively implementing huge projects related to gasification, electricity, water supply, road construction in almost all regions of the country. Now there are real projects on the agenda that will benefit the entire South Caucasus. Large-scale work is underway in Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur. Azerbaijan is restoring infrastructure and creating all conditions for the return of now former internally displaced persons to their native lands. Much attention is paid to the development of agriculture. All the necessary conditions are being created for the integration of the economy of Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur into the global world economy. The launch of the Zangezur corridor, which will connect Azerbaijan with the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic through the territory of Armenia, is of paramount importance and its launch is only a matter of time.

The Armenians living in Karabakh today are citizens of Azerbaijan and the country’s government is ready to ensure the protection of their rights at the same level as the rights of any Azerbaijani. Azerbaijan has already made it clear that Armenians living in Karabakh will have no any special position or status. It’s time to accept it. Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan, from a historical point of view, and from the point of view of international law. This is recognized by the entire world community.

It is known all over the world that the occupying country has no right to settle the occupied lands. This is contrary to all norms of international law and the Geneva Conventions. Armenia violated this rule as well. The Azerbaijani city of Lachin, the villages of Zabuh and Sus were illegally settled during the period of Armenian occupation, and today, people living there must look for a new place of residence. For what happened, they should blame only the Armenian leadership, which, pursuing its own selfish goals, did not care about the future of these people.

According to a trilateral statement in the fall of 2020, Armenia pledged to vacate the settlements around the Lachin corridor, which has been providing communication between Armenia and the Azerbaijani city of Khankendi in Karabakh for many years, as soon as a new road is built linking Armenia with Karabakh, bypassing the city of Lachin. Azerbaijan built such a road with a length of 32 kilometers in just a year. However, even here the Armenians living in that area do not behave with dignity. Leaving the Azerbaijani Lachin, they burn the houses where they used to live earlier. Thus, they demonstrate hatred, aggression and unacceptability of the new reality. Well, clearly, such behavior will entail military and legal liability. Either Armenia draws conclusions, or reaps the fruits of its own recklessness.

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