Read daily news summary for January 29 here.
Azerbaijani military open fire in the vicinity of Armenian villages - Ombudsman
‘The Azerbaijani military is opening fire with small and large-caliber weapons in the immediate vicinity of the villages of Chakaten, Nerkin Hand, Shikahogh, Yeghvard, Agarak, Uzhanis in the Syunik province of Armenia,’ Arman Tatoyan, Human Rights Defender of Armenia said today.
In Ombudsman’s words, civilians and community bodies of these villages have informed that shootings take place regularly, both during the day and at night.
‘At the same time, the villagers observed that there are frequent cases when the shots of the Azerbaijani military are fired while they are drunk. It is then that the shootings are intensified with large-caliber weapons,’ the Ombudsman said.
'These condemnable acts have become a real threat to the rights to life and health, physical and psychological integrity, and other rights of civilians of Armenia and grossly violate the welfare of the children,' the Ombudsman said.
‘The referenced incidents further reinforce the Human Rights Defender's assessment that the presence of Azerbaijani armed forces in the immediate vicinity of Armenia's civilian border communities and on inter-community and interstate roads is a real threat to the lives and other vital rights of the civilians,’ the Ombudsman added. He informed that reports of those facts will be sent to international organizations, including the OSCE, the UN, and the Council of Europe
Following the recent Nagorno Karabakh war, demarcations and delimitations of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in Armenia’s southern Syunik province have been done by serious human rights violations dangerously exposing the residents to the Azerbaijani armed forces. Some of the residents were told by the Azerbaijani military to leave their homes within hours as a consequence of mechanical demarcations ignoring the social and economic rights of the residents.
Earlier on Friday, Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan visited border communities of the Syunik Province where he met a working group set up to coordinate the process of urgent response to the identified problems in the province, Armenpress.am reports. In his address in Syunik, Deputy PM Avinyan highlighted the need for urgent and accurate solutions to the difficult socio-economic and security circumstances that Armenia faces. He reassured the residents that the government will support them to resolve all issues. He also informed that new houses will be built for and financial assistance provided to those families who have lost their homes.
Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian Deputy PMs held first meeting in Moscow
Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk, and Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev held their first meeting in Moscow to discuss the practical issues of reopening of the transport connections in the region, TASS news agency reports.
Following the Moscow-brokered truce statement ending the recent Nagorno Karabakh war, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a statement in Moscow on January 11 specifying on the lifting of the blockade of all economic and transport links in the region connecting Armenia to Russia and Iran and, correspondingly, Azerbaijan to its exclave Nakhijevan. Armenian, Russian, and Azerbaijani leaders also agreed on setting up a working group under the chairmanship of the countries’ Deputy Prime Ministers to create a roadmap of implementation of regional transport infrastructures and economic development prioritising settlement of railway and road communications.
The participants of the tripartite working group decided on Saturday to set up expert subgroups for the railway, road, and combined transport, for ensuring security, border, customs, sanitary, veterinary, and other types of control.
The parties agreed to complete the formation of expert subgroups by February 2, 2021, and hold their first meetings by February 5, 2021.
Other news from Armenia
- A criminal case has been filed for committing murder attempt against former Defence Minister of Artsakh, Lieutenant-General Jalal Harutyunyan, Armenian Prosecutor General’s office told Armenpress.am. Jalal Harutyunyan has been questioned.
The spokesperson of the Investigative Committee of Armenia Rima Yeganyan stated that according to the aforementioned criminal case Jalal Harutyunyan has been recognized as a victim and has been questioned. “As for the claim according to which Azerbaijan could not have known about his movement on its own, the victim didn’t provide such information to the body conducting the proceedings during the questioning”, she said.
- Russian-Turkish joint center for monitoring the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone has opened in Azerbaijan's Aghdam region, News.am reports. ‘The center will collect, summarize, and verify information on the observance of the ceasefire regime and the actions of violation of the agreements reached by the parties,’ the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Saturday.
According to the ministry, the monitoring will be carried out using drones and additional data received from other sources. The staff of the monitoring center is evenly represented — with up to 60 servicemen from each side. The center has direct lines of communication with the military command bodies of the conflict parties and the control centers of the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
- The United States is cooperating with Russia over Nagorno Karabakh and wants to continue the dialogue, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan told Dozhd TV as Armenpress.am reports.
He said not long ago he and his French colleague were present at a briefing of the Russian foreign ministry. “US, France, and Russia are Minsk Group Co-Chairs, at the briefing we were informed about the incidents in Nagorno Karabakh, the end of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This is another example of the sphere where the United States is cooperating with the Russian government, and in this case also with the French government as Minsk Group Co-Chairs, and we want to continue our collaboration on these matters”, the US Ambassador said.