President Serge Sargisian met with the ambassadors of the nations participating in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group on April 4. The following are his remarks to the visiting ambassadors, representing Russia, the US and France. The remarks are edited for space.
I appreciate your quick response to my invitation and thank you for being here. I am confident that all of you are informed about the situation on the Nagorno Karabagh line of contact. The purpose of inviting the Ambassadors of the OSCE participating states is to provide you with firsthand information.
As you already know, over the night of April 2 at around 3 am the Azeri side undertook a pre-planned and unprecedented provocation along the entire line of contact with Nagorno Karabagh, carrying out massive military actions and employing the entire complex of their arsenal – armored vehicles, heavy artillery and air force.
From the first hours of the hostilities, the adversary also targeted civilians. Schoolchildren were killed and wounded in the schoolyard; elderly people were viciously killed in their homes – all of them peaceful residents, including a 92-year-old woman. And it was carried out by the so-called sabotage and reconnaissance group because no regular unit of the Azeri armed forces entered into any residential area. It is true, that right after this, the group was eliminated, however this is the fact. Footage featuring this scene also appeared in the mass media yesterday. You can watch that footage and juxtapose with the repeatedly uttered words of the leader of the neighboring state on the protection of the rights of the people of Karabagh within “the island of tolerance — Azerbaijan.”
Timely and professional actions of the NK Defense Army allowed to bring the entire situation under control.
Hostilities of this magnitude have not been registered since the establishment of the ceasefire in 1994. Provocative attacks of the Azeri side resumed the next morning and continue as we speak. Azerbaijan continues to target civilians, using multiple rocket launchers and mortars. After the so-called “unilateral ceasefire,” the Azerbaijani armed forces continued their active military actions along the line of contact as well as shelled the residential areas of Nagorno Karabagh.