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News.Az interviews Azerbaijani military expert Vladimir Timoshenko, a lieutentant general (retired) in the air defence forces.
What are your impressions of the military parade held in Baku on 26 June, Armed Forces Day?
The impressions are positive and certainly optimistic, but I'm very upset at the reports on the presidents' meeting about Karabakh, held in Kazan. It means that we have to take some measures, since there is no end to this conflict, given Armenia’s stance.
What is your prediction, given the current situation in the Karabakh settlement process: which is more likely, a peaceful or military solution?
I am again of the opinion that Karabakh will be returned to Azerbaijan only as a result of a victorious war, since the result of all these referendums so much spoken about is obvious.
Meanwhile, Armenia will return the regions around Nagorno-Karabakh voluntarily. Probably, not all seven, but at least five or six.
August 01, 2011
YEREVAN -- A senior opposition party official says Armenia and Azerbaijan will fail to reach a framework agreement on the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the coming months despite peace efforts, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.
This is where the first war set off by the Soviet collapse took place. And it may be where the next one breaks out.
But with snipers on both sides shooting at one another every day, occasionally causing casualties, and plenty of saber-rattling rhetoric, the chances of stumbling into a war of miscalculation, or a war of hotheadedness, are considerable.
Tevan Poghosyan, who in the 1990s represented Karabakh in the United States and now runs a think tank in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, said war is inevitable.
The Armenian kingdom was the first to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in 301, and Azerbaijanis are Muslims, though both sides like to play down the religious divide. (Iran favors Armenia, for one thing.) Yet Armenians marked their tanks with white crosses. And at the mountaintop Gandzasar Monastery, where the St. John the Baptist Cathedral was consecrated in 1240, there is a regular liturgy for the “martyrs” of the war.
September 1, 2011
The parties exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, in particular the perspectives of resolution of Karabakh and Transdnestrian conflicts
On Sept. 14, the Karabakh Defense Ministry announced it had downed an unmanned Azeri drone flying in Armenian airspace, on a reconnaissance mission.
According to the Defense Ministry, the Azerbaijani side had recently increased its air presence on the border, likely conducting military surveys of the area. In the past couple of days, the frequency of these flights increased, and they followed the length of the contact line, and in some instances violated Armenia’s airspace.
Lawmakers in Azerbaijan approved a 2012 budget Tuesday that forecasts steady economic growth for the energy-rich ex-Soviet state and boosts defence spending amid its military stand-off with Armenia.
Defence and military spending will rise by 1.9 percent to 1.4 billion Azerbaijani manats ($1.8 billion/1.3 billion euros) -- almost 15 percent of the entire state budget -- amid the continuing conflict with neighbour Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh.
Earlier on Wednesday, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry Spokesman, Colonel Eldar Sabiroglu said that on Monday and Tuesday, violation of the ceasefire in several directions was intense. Azerbaijani Armed Forces suppressed attacks by Armenian Armed Forces. Both sides suffered losses.
“Shots are fired at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border every day, but there have been no skirmishes in the past two days,” Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovahnnsian told the correspondent of Aysor.am. In his words, it is incomprehensible what skirmishes Azerbaijan is talking about, as a result of which the Azerbaijani side suffered casualties.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are unlikely to reach a deal this year over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and there is a risk of the region sliding towards a war, the enclave's prime minister said on Thursday.
General Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia (GDCA) will allow civil aircrafts to fly to the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, GDCA's chief Artyom Movsisyan told journalists, Novosti-Armenia reported.
He refused to disclose concrete dates.
Azerbaijan banned the use of airspace over Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, as no one can guarantee a safe air corridor in the area, the head of the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration, Arif Mammadov said earlier.
The massacre of Azerbaijanis and repressions committed against them should be considered as the bloodiest page of the world history of the 20th century. On March 31, 1918 the Baku Commune and the Armenian nationalists committed unprecedented violence in the history of mankind by perpetrating massacres and executions.
Members of the Armenian Dashnak party in concert with Soviet Bolsheviks massacred about 20,000 innocent Azerbaijani people, including the elderly, women and children, starting on the night of March 30, 1918.
“Neither the Karabakh people nor the Azerbaijanis will get any benefits from the war”, - said Arayik Harutyunyan, emphasizing that the war wouldn’t bring any benefits to any sides. He also stated that Nagorno Karabakh would not strike the first, though Azerbaijan continues importing weapons. “I think that the war will bring to a great humanitarian crisis and bloodshed”, - said the Prime Minister of Nagorno Karabakh Republic and added that in case of a new war the losses will be more than in the past.
"If we manage to end the year peacefully then that will be constructive, but in terms of concrete accords to resolve the conflict, I'm not optimistic for this year," Nagorno-Karabakh's prime minister, Arayik Haroutiounian, said in Paris during a visit to meet Franco-Armenian investors.
The enclave of 160,000 people runs its own affairs with heavy Armenian military and financial backing. Armenia has a security deal with Russia, while Azerbaijan has one with Turkey.
Oil-producing Azerbaijan, host to global majors including BP, Chevron and ExxonMobil, often threatens to take it back by force, though it says it favors diplomacy.
"Neither Karabakh nor Azerbaijan would benefit from a war because I don't think either country would win outright, but we can't rule it out," Haroutiounian said.
While he said Nagorno-Karabakh would not strike first, his administration had, like Azerbaijan, steadily increased arms imports to ensure that it could defend itself.
"I think that a new war would lead to a huge humanitarian crisis and be extremely bloody," he said. "The losses would be much greater than before — hundreds of thousands killed and injured — because of the arms race of the last few years.
April 3, 2013
“Azerbaijan is seriously preparing for war,” Russian Rosbalt news agency quoted Mitrofanov as saying.
МОСКВА, 3 апреля
Азербайджанская сторона ведет серьезную подготовку к войне, констатировал депутат.
April 3, 2013
In the first stage of the conflict, there was parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the military and economic spheres. However, we managed to change the parity. Today, the difference is enormous.
Armenia has occupied our lands through military means.
We have the full right and the international law allows us to restore our territorial integrity by all means.
The difficult to pronounce name is often used as a synonym for “obscure, overly-complex ethnic conflict in which the United States should not become embroiled,” but the fact is that Washington is already deeply committed, to the point that the only way of washing its hands of the mess is to achieve conflict settlement.
U.S. diplomats have spent decades carving out a pipeline and transport corridor that threads through the Caucasus region between inhospitable Russia and Iran. A re-ignition of the conflict in the next year-and-a-half could jeopardize troop withdrawal plans from Afghanistan through the corridor.
A defense treaty with Moscow obligates Russia to defend Armenia in case of war, including an escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Moscow has no such relationships with Azerbaijan. In fact, at the moment, Russian technicians are leaving Azerbaijan’s largest radar facility as part of a deal agreed to late last year to sever the last vestiges of Soviet-era ties.
8 April 2013
A seminar on disaster management during large scale events organised by the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan and the Embassy of France in Azerbaijan, began its work in Baku on Monday.
The ambassador said France is interested not only in the supply of equipment to Azerbaijan, but also in selling its technology in this field and the exchange of experiences within the institutional cooperation.
According to him, French companies participating in the seminar may contribute to the prevention of emergency situations in Azerbaijan in the future.
8 April 2013
France recognises Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity and does not recognise Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state. It identifies it as part of Azerbaijan, the French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier told media today.
Azerbaijan says one of its army officers has been shot dead near the border of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Defense Ministry officials told RFE/RL on April 9 that Lieutenant Sahriyar Mammadov was killed by Armenian forces based in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The officials said Armenian troops "violated the cease-fire agreement" late on April 8 near the Aqdam district, which is a buffer zone.
A re-ignition of the conflict in the next year-and-a-half could jeopardize troop withdrawal plans from Afghanistan through the corridor
10 July 2013
Afghanistan supports the position of Azerbaijan in the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Interior Minister of Afghanistan Ghulam Mujtaba Patang said at a meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov today, the Azerbaijani foreign ministry reported.
July 9, 2013
Officially, all of this is for potential use against Armenia. But the billions spent on naval and air defense weapons seem more suited for defense against Iran.
Azerbaijan has been having more and more problems with Iran. Last year, for example, police arrested 22 suspected Iranian agents and accused them of planning terror attacks on American and Israeli targets.
The Russians stopped when they ran into the Turkish and Iranian empires, but not before taking a chunk of Azerbaijan from Iran. The Iranians have not forgotten.
In effect, most of "Azerbaijan" is in Iran and Iran has long hoped to reunite all Azeris under their rule. Currently, about a quarter of the Iranian population is Azeri and many have risen to senior positions in the government. Despite that, most Azeris would like all Azeris united in a single Azerbaijan. This is not a popular idea within Iran.
Iran is also unhappy with the growing diplomatic and economic ties Azerbaijan has with Israel. Azerbaijan ordering military equipment from Israeli was very unpopular with Iran, which believes that Israel must be destroyed and that any Islamic state that supports Israel deserves much the same.
10 July 2013
Iran is ready to become a mediator in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict if there is willingness of the conflict parties, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi said at a press conference on July 9, Iranian news channel IRINN reported.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved through negotiations," he said.
“What has Minsk Group done up to now? They have done nothing, except several meetings with predictable results. We do not think that the Minsk Group members that are beyond the region are interested in the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict.