|A DANGEROUS GAME,the effects of which will not be virtual|
|Monday, 27 August 2012 14:21|
"On August 23, the OSCE mission conducted regular monitoring of the line of contact of the Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forces, in the Askeran direction. No violation of the cease-fire was fixed during the monitoring”. This is a short excerpt from the press release of the NKR MFA.
And here's a quote from the press releases of the NKR defense ministry: "From August 12 to 18, the Azerbaijani party violated the cease-fire about 300 times, producing over 1200 shots at the Karabakh positions from different caliber firearms". I must say, such information has been distributed for a long time and with the appropriate frequency. In the first case - according to the schedule of the OSCE mission’s activity in the conflict zone and in the second case - according to the "schedule" of the Azerbaijani provocative actions at the parties’ contact-line.
At the first glance, it may seem that the contents of both press releases contradict each other, but the irony is that they contain absolute truth. That, in turn, causes a certain degree of irony also towards the OSCE mission, though initially it is based on a constructive message - peacemaking. But, we are far from blaming the very mission of the OSCE for the contradiction of these two truths, as it properly performs its functions on monitoring the contact-line. Moreover, we are even grateful to it for the fact that there are no shots and deaths at least during and in the area of the monitoring. Maybe, the OSCE should form a mobile group of permanent field observers?
Unfortunately, the problem of the cease-fire violation has acquired a permanent character and has become a subject of major concern of international mediators. However, it will hardly be solved until the mediators stop making both parties equally responsible for the cease-fire violation. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have repeatedly noted that it is hard to identify the violator of the ceasefire. Well, first, the co-chairmanship has repeatedly stated the necessity of creating a mechanism to investigate the incidents on the contact-line, but the intention does not find its realization in practice. Second, even without creating such a mechanism, we believe, it is simple to specify the main culprit of the permanent armed provocations at the contact-line, which is actually turned into a front-line. To do this, one should ask just a question, which is famous even to a young criminologist investigating a crime - "Who benefits from this?" Indeed, who benefit from the escalation of tension in the conflict zone? The answer is obvious.
As you know, both Armenian parties have repeatedly offered and still offer to withdraw snipers from the front-line. It is also known that Azerbaijan rejects the proposal. There are several reasons for such behavior. One of them is to be found in the psychological plane - Azerbaijan is haunted by the complex of a party, which lost the war; that's why it seeks a kind of revenge for comforting its wounded pride, though in the form of local cease-fire violations. Second, thus Baku tries to demonstrate to the Azerbaijani society its determination to resolve the conflict in its favor at any cost, even by force. Such militancy, accompanied by militaristic rhetoric and increase of the military budget, allows keeping the people in the right mood, making it concentrate on a possible war and not on social issues and those of the Azerbaijani society’s democratization. In addition, the armed provocations, permanently initiated by Azerbaijan, are aimed at putting military and moral and psychological pressure on Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh to force them to make concessions in the conflict settlement process. Besides, provoking both Armenian parties, Azerbaijan expects an adequate respond from them, which will allow it to accuse Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh of violating the cease-fire agreement.
I must say, increasing the tension in the Karabakh conflict zone, Azerbaijan is playing with fire. The Armenian parties’ patience is not unlimited, and Baku runs the risk of a very hard and sensitive response, of which it has been repeatedly warned by Yerevan and Stepanakert. It will not be able to avoid the angry reaction of either the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing states or the international structures, which have repeatedly warned it about the inadmissibility of destabilization the situation in the South Caucasus and resumption of the war in Karabakh. Let’s recall the recent sanction of the United States, which, in response to a series of armed provocations committed by Azerbaijan in early June, expelled it from the list of buyers of the U.S. weapons.
Let’s note another kind of game. The mass media has reported that a 19-year-old Azerbaijani student, together with his peers, developed a computer video game, in which a virtual battle for the "liberation of Shushi from occupation" takes place. According to the creator of the game, it has gained great popularity among the Azerbaijani youth, which knows that sooner or later it will have to take up arms. The Azerbaijani authorities can be satisfied - setting their own youth to war seems to be successful. However, official Baku should not forget that if the video game turns into a real war, its effects will not be virtual, Baku's hands will be covered with the real blood of Azerbaijani guys and it will have to give a corresponding answer to their mothers.
Editor-in-Chief of Azat Artsakh newspaper
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