YEREVAN — On January 25, an Azerbaijani military convoy tried to pass through the village of Karmir Shuka in the Martuni region of Artsakh without informing the Armenian side, so the villagers did not allow them to cross for some time. As a result, the Azerbaijani military column remained in the village during this period.
“They came and tried to cross without informing the leadership of the community. That’s why they stopped them. They called from the municipality and said that they came without giving notice,” said our local source. According to the latter, when the Azerbaijani military crosses the main road of Karmir Shuka, both the community authorities and the Artsakh defense army must be informed.
He added with emphasis: “Neither the community leadership nor the army knew. They came unexpectedly. That’s why we stopped them. What right do they have to ignore us? But there was no clash. The road remained closed for about 15 minutes. The government then said, ‘Open it’ and we opened it.”
Metakse Hakobyan, a member of the Artsakh Parliament, told us that the residents demanded that the Azerbaijanis not use the road as if they possessed the right of ownership, but must warn in advance in order to come to an agreement before crossing that road. They conveyed their demands to the Azerbaijanis through Russian peacekeepers, and only then, after negotiations, did they open the way.
A second issue raised is that occasionally the villagers’ animals wander over to the neutral zone or into Azerbaijani controlled land, and the Azerbaijanis do not return them.
The Artsakh deputy said that the Azerbaijanis have not responded to the demand of the Artsakh people yet and declared: “We will see from the next passage whether they will keep us informed in advance. It will become clear in this fashion whether the demands of the Armenian side have been accepted.”