Brussels 23.06.2021 “On 25-26 June, Alexander Schallenberg, Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Bogdan Aurescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania will visit Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia as mandated by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Polic Josep Borrell” reads the press-release of the European External Action Service on visit of Foreign Affairs Ministers of Austria, Lithuania and Romania to South Caucasus mandated by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell mandated by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell. (Image above: Bakou, Azerbaijan, Flame Towers).
The Foreign Affairs Ministers of Austria, Lithuania and Romania will visit Armenia, Azerbaijan & Georgia. This is a visit mandated by the HR/VP @JosepBorrellF and it highlights the importance that the EU attaches to bilateral relations with these countrieshttps://t.co/ksjgafWe6A
— European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) June 23, 2021
“The visit on behalf of the High Representative will highlight the importance that the European Union attaches to its bilateral relations with these countries, to the South Caucasus region, and to the EU’s Eastern Partnership framework. The visit signals the EU’s readiness to support broader cooperation both with and between the South Caucasus countries, including through the opportunities available under the Eastern Partnership. Following the recent discussions among EU Foreign Affairs Ministers at the informal Foreign Affairs Council (Gymnich) on the conflicts in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood, the visit will underscore the EU’s determination to promote and actively support sustainable and comprehensive conflict settlement efforts.
“The Ministers will meet with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, in Baku, the President of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian, and Acting Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, in Yerevan, as well as the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, in Tbilisi. The visit will convey the EU’s support to the three countries also in the context of the preparation for the Eastern Partnership summit, which is scheduled to take place in December 2021.
Humanitarian crises following the war in Nagorno-#Karabakh are creating a new set of concerns months after the ceasefire.
Low-level tensions could continue for years to come if the post-war security issues are not addressed.
“The Ministers will hold a press conference at the end of their visit, at the EU Delegation in Tblisi, on Saturday 26 June at around 13:00 (CEST) / 15:00 local.
“The Ministers will be accompanied by the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and crisis in Georgia, Toivo Klaar. They will report about their visit to EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs during the next Foreign Affairs Council in July.
“Audiovisual coverage of the visit will be provided by the European Union Delegations to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia respectively”.
Bruxelles 13.06.2021 “The European Union welcomes the actions taken by Armenia and Azerbaijan and facilitated by Georgia that led to the release by Azerbaijan of 15 Armenian detainees and the handing over by Armenia of maps of mined areas on Saturday,June 12” read the statement of Statement by High Representative Josep Borrell on the latest developments between two countries. (Image above: Baku, Azerbaijan).
— European External Action Service – EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) June 13, 2021
“These are important humanitarian and confidence building gestures by Baku and Yerevan that wil hopefully open the path for further cooperation between the sides and the ultimate release of all Armenian detainees, as well as the handing over of all available maps of mined areas to avoid further civilian casualties.
“The European Union and other international actors have actively encouraged moves in this direction and we urge further cooperation between the countries involved.
“We will continue to promote a durable and comprehensive settlement of the conflict, including where possible through support for stabilisation, post conflict rehabilitation and confidence building measures and reiterate our call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to reengage in substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs”.
Brussels 25.02.2021 “The European Union is following developments in Armenia very closely. We ask all actors for calm and to avoid any rhetoric or actions that could lead to further escalation”, the EU spokesperson declaration reads.
Armenia: All actors should keep calm & avoid rhetoric/actions that escalate the situation, have to respect democratic principles & processes. According to 🇦🇲Constitution the Army "shall maintain neutrality in political matters & be under civilian control” https://t.co/EaNZ0TmeWU
“Political differences must be resolved peacefully and in strict adherence to the principles and processes of parliamentary democracy. In line with the Armenian Constitution, the armed forces “shall maintain neutrality in political matters and shall be under civilian control”.
Brussels,1.12.2020 Legendary French animal welfare defendant Brigitte Bardot, President of the Foundation bearing her name, addressed an open letter to the attention of the Presidents of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, regarding the dramatic situation of the abandoned animals of Nagorno-Karabakh. The thousands of abandoned animals of Nagorno-Karabakh were left behind after the military operations in disputed territory led to the massive exodus of Armenians.
In her letter Mme Bardot has drawn the attention of Presidents to the situation in the region, where the animal welfare activists were eager to come to rescue thousands of animals, mainly dogs and cats, but they are kept away from dangerous areas by the military, who conduct necessary works to remove munition, and explosives. The abandoned cats, dogs, and other domestic animals who suffer without care, deprived of water and of food, doomed to die painful death.
The animal welfare activists report about tens of thousands of abandoned animals, dying in absence of food and water. There are mutes of dogs, who are looking for food in vain in deserted villages in the regions around Nagorno-Karabakh. The only solution for the problem, is the inclusion of care for the abandoned animals into humanitarian missions, conducted by the Russian peacekeepers, and Azerbaijan regular army.
#Russie 🇷🇺 / #Azerbaïdjan 🇦🇿 Lettre ouverte de @brigitte_bardot à Vladimir Poutine et Ilham Aliyev : "Je vous supplie de ne pas oublier les animaux abandonnés du Haut-Karabakh" !
“Open letter to the attention of the Presidents
of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
I appeal to you not to forget about the abandoned animals of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The activists are eager to rescue them, but they are being kept away from the dangerous areas where military experts are working, and where there are thousands of dogs, cats and other abandoned domestic animals who are suffering without care, deprived of water and food.
Confronted with such a situation which could go on for some time and leave no chance of survival for the animals, I call you to include the caretaking of the abandoned animals in the humanitarian missions.
This dramatic situation of suffering of animals abandoned by people, mainly dogs and cats who have been our most faithful companions since the dawn of time, is a matter of great concern but trust in your good will to provide an exceptional aid during this transitional period after the entry into force of the ceasefire agreement inspires the hope that I place in you.
Caring for animals suffering along with humans from the consequences of conflicts and wars can only help to heal recent and old traumas that haunt humanity and, in this particular situation, would contribute significantly to the appeasement of the Nagorno-Karabakh region by encouraging people to build a better future for all.
The humanitarian and charitable missions towards the animals of Nagorno-Karabakh carried out under your orders, dear Presidents, are among the keys to this much desired peaceful future, which animal welfare groups are ready to support.
I look forward to receiving your positive response to my urgent appeal.
Please accept, dear Presidents, the assurance of my highest consideration”.
Brussels 11/23/2020 The “scorched earth” strategy of Armenians leaving the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan did not escape the attention of the European Commission. “We take note of various information and various complaints that come from the parties in the situation regarding Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions. Since there is no direct access to the territories, it is very difficult for us to verify these statements, and therefore I will not be able to answer specific accusations that concern the situation in these territories, but what is important, is the observance of the ceasefire regime, which must be fully implemented” the spokesperson said.
The EU was very clear in its expectations, the EU diplomat added, referring to the EU Declaration 27 of November 19, underlining the “importance of guaranteeing humanitarian access and the best possible conditions for the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of the displaced populations in and around Nagorno-Karabakh”. The preservation and restoring the cultural and religious heritage in and around Nagorno-Karabakh was also included into the Declaration, along with the demand of investigation of “any war crimes that might have been committed”.
The EU is “closely watching how the situation, regarding the ceasefire”, which was concluded with the mediation of Russia and how it is being implemented on the ground, the spokesperson continued.
The media reports on the “scorched earth” strategy used by the Armenians leaving the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan, have caused a great deal of concern of the ecologists, who have pointed at the disaster of the forests set ablaze, and the intentional destruction of unique flora and fauna of the mountains.
The “scorched earth” strategy that is prohibited by the 1977 Geneva Conventions, being defined as “war crime”. It has been reportedly used by local inhabitants of the Kelbajar region, while they were abandoning the area. They set ablaze houses, gardens, forests, and also massively culled animals, which can subsequently lead to sanitary problems. The pictured and videos of the devastation, and fires were shown on the CBC TV Azerbaijan channel.
Armenia receives hundreds of millions from the EU in to aid programmes, but now the government in Yerevan will face the multi-million claims of Azerbaijan for the damages to nature of Kalbajar caused intentionally, since the Minister of Ecology of Azerbaijan has already begun to prepare claims to the International Court in the Hague, the Azerbaijan media reports.
Haut-Karabakh : Vidéo publiée le 13 novembre qui documente les habitants de la région de Kelbajar, dans l'Artsakh qui brûlent leurs maisons avant de quitter la région, qui sera remise dimanche à l'Azerbaïdjan. pic.twitter.com/azEXHjXMlD
The ‘scorched earth’ strategy is a war crime as defined in the 1977 Geneva Conventions. This barbaric strategy of destroying anything that could potentially be used by the enemy is condemned by international law, and the procedures concerning war criminals are under the jurisdiction of International Criminal Court in The Hague. It is a permanent international criminal justice body whose competence includes the prosecution of those responsible for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, as well as military aggression. Established by the 1998 Rome Statute, the Court has officially began its work on July 1, 2002. (Image below: culled cattle left behind).
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a statement on ending the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian leader wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“I signed a statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on ending the Karabakh war since 01:00 (00:00 Moscow Time). The text of the published statement is inexpressibly sensitive for me personally and for our people. I made the decision after a deep analysis of the military situation and the assessment by people who know it better than anyone,” Pashinyan said, noting that he made “a very and very hard decision”.
According to Pashinyan, “this step is based on a conviction that this is the best possible solution in the current situation.” “I will speak in detail about all this in the coming days. This is not victory, but there won’t be a defeat unless you recognize yourself as a loser. We will never recognize ourselves as losers and this should usher in our era of national unification and revival,” he said.
Azerbaijan downed Russian helicopter by mistake and is ready to compensate Moscow for the damages, the Republic’s Foreign Ministry announced. (Image: illustration).
“The helicopter was flying in the close vicinity of the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border at the time of active hostilities in the zone of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The flight was taking place after dark, at a low altitude, outside the air defence radar detection zone. Helicopters of the Russian Armed Forces had not been detected in said area previously,” the Ministry stated. According to the ministry, “in the context of the aforementioned factors and in the light of the tense situation in the region and the high military alert due to possible provocations of the Armenian side, the on-duty operational crew made the decision to use deadly force.”
Brussels, 21.10.2020 NATO During two-days unexpected visit the Armenian President has met the leading EU officials, and Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, who told Armenian President Armen Sarkissian that the allies do not take sides in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
#NATO: We are not a party to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
▪️ NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and #Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian met at NATO headquarters in Brussels. ▪️ Stoltenberg explained that he reminded Sarkissian that NATO is not a party to the conflict. pic.twitter.com/4yGcEYjgug
The German Press Agency (dpa) reported that Stoltenberg expressed NATO’s neutrality on the issue to Sarkissian, who visited the NATO headquarters to convince the Alliance to do “everything possible to stop the Azerbaijani and the NATO member Turkey’s military actions.”
Sarkissian visited Brussels in attempt to receive support from the Western military alliance and the European Union amid the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over disputed Nagorno-Karabach mountain region, recognised by the international community as an integral part of Azerbaijan.
Sarkissian has visited Brussels to meet NATO’s chief Stoltenberg, European Council President Charles Michel and the head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell.
Michel in his meeting with the Armenian president repeated the EU’s “deepest concern about ongoing fighting with major humanitarian costs,” according to a statement on his Twitter micro blog. The president of the EU Council called for an immediate observance of a renewed cease-fire that went into effect at the weekend.
Hundreds of victims of the conflict have been reported from each side since September 27 when it began abruptly, causing major confrontation since the times of the collapse of the USSR.
Armenia's president has left for Brussels for talks with the EU and NATO while the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers are in Moscow for talks with Russia in a diplomatic push to end the fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. https://t.co/nF5wdYsl35
Brussels 7.10.2020 “Members, the current military confrontation along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone is of our utmost concern. It is the largest confrontation since 1993-1994. We have been very engaged on this issue” said Josep Borrell, the head of the EU diplomacy, while addressing the Members of the European Parliament.
Fighting in Nagorno Karabakh must stop. Azerbaijan and Armenia need to re-engage in negotiations under OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs auspices, and EU will continue working to help stop hostilities. There can be no military solution and no external interference.@Europarl_ENpic.twitter.com/nqUlTMejGz
“On the day that fighting erupted, I released a statement as High Representative, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, de-escalation and strict observance of the ceasefire. During the past days, I have had several phone calls, separately, with the Armenian and the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers, urging both sides to stop the hostilities and to return to the negotiating table.
“Our position is clear: the fighting must stop. Both sides need to re-engage in meaningful negotiations – which, by the way, have not been very fruitful in the last 30 years – without preconditions, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. There can be no military solution to the conflict, nor external interference. This position was reinforced by the European Council held on the 1st and 2nd of October.
“We have seen extremely worrying reports of a surge in attacks on populated areas, which is taking a deadly toll on civilians. We strongly urge the sides to fully observe their international obligations to protect civilian populations. And, with the resources we have, we have urgently allocated a small amount of money [€500,000] in humanitarian aid for the affected populations.
“In fact, we do not have a lot of information about how the conflict is developing. Detailed information is scarce and there is a lot of fake news.
“OSCE monitoring on the ground remains suspended, so we do not have observers. But what we observe is an increasing amount of disinformation, which is aimed at mobilising the domestic audiences in both countries and could be used to pull regional actors into the conflict. Media reports need, therefore, to be examined with great caution, because we do not have confirmation of some of the news that has been disseminated.
“At this stage, further escalation of the conflict and involvement of regional actors, unhappily, cannot be excluded. This would seriously threaten the stability of the whole region.
“On the 30th of September, I discussed the situation with the Russian Foreign Minister and I also spoke with the Turkish Foreign Minister – the two regional actors that are closer to the conflict. I emphasised the importance of de-escalation, the importance that regional actors refrain from any activity and rhetoric that could inflame things even further.
“I spoke to the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan during the weekend. I stressed that the increase of civilian casualties is unacceptable. I heard from both sides the actions taken by the other side; each one of them blames the other for starting and for attacking civilian populations, not in Nagorno Karabakh itself, not in the region in dispute, but from Armenia to Azerbaijan and from Azerbaijan to Armenia.
“The fighting should stop. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs are going to have meetings this week with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the two countries, and the only way to get out of this situation is that the Minsk Group Co-chairs pushes for immediate negotiations as soon as possible.
“We will continue working with key partners to try to help stop the hostilities, because the only solution is to go back to the negotiating table. But this negotiation table has been open for the last 30 years without any kind of advance. War is not an alternative; we have to push both parties to stop fighting and start negotiating without preconditions. But this is, for the time being, not the case.
“I am sorry that I cannot inform you more about that, because as I said, the information is very much scarce and we have to take care not to disseminate news that has not been confirmed”.
This is not just a war against Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh. It is another war of Erdogan -this time with Azerbaijan- against civilisation. https://t.co/NmExM5e4hF
The intense shelling in the break-away region of Nagorno-Karabakh is taking its toll on the civilian population as fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces showed no signs of halt on October 7.
Clashes between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in the region since September 27 have killed hundreds in the worst escalation of hostilities since 1994 when a truce ended a war that raged for several years. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised territory of Azerbaijan, but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Yerevan since ethnic cleansing erupted during the process of the collapse of the USSR. The enmity started with pogroms of Armenians on February 27, 1988 in Sumgait city, when Azerbaijan was one of the Soviet Republics. Since Sumgait massacre the relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanies have been suffering a profound malaise, producing a “frozen conflict” with unsolved territorial dispute.
Brussels 06.10.2020 Today upon the initiative of the Cyprus MEP Loucas Fourlas (EPP) 48 Member of the European Parliament sent a letter to the head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell calling him to undertake “meaningful actions” versus Azerbaijan aggression on breakaway Republic of Artsakh – Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenia.
(Image above: illustration, European Parliament, Strasbourg).
“We write to you to express our concern for the situation in Artsakh⁄Nagorno-Karabakh and submit the following requests: As of Sunday morning, 26 October, the Artsakh population has been under attack by the Azerbaijani armed forces, in gross violation of international humanitarian law and the logic of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The missile and aerial attacks against the indigenous population in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the capital Stepanakert, forced civilians to hide inside shelters. Schools in Nagorno-Karabakh have been bombed while there are numerous casualties across the region. We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament are appalled by this and call on the Azerbaijani army to immediately stop the aggression against the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. We call upon the EU High Representative Josep Borrell to take immediate and concrete measures on this direction. We recall and stress that the OSCE investigative mechanism for cease-fire violations which would prevent the sides from blaming each other for initiating deadly attacks, is an absolute necessity for regaining trust and a meaningful negotiation process. We also call you, High Representative Borrell, to exercise high pressure to halt any interference by Turkey, de facto destabilising yet another neighbouring region, the South Caucasus. The disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh is in urgent need of a peaceful solution. Any kind of escalation due to the involvement of third countries, such as Turkey, will rapidly worsen the situation with unpredictable consequences for the whole region. We expect to see meaningful actions to help resolve this conflict from your side very quickly. Yours sincerely, The undersigned Members of the European Parliament: