Vardanyan: If Willing, Minsk Co-Chairs Have Power to Stop Innocent Deaths

Minsk Group Condemns Civilian Killings, Fails to Blame Baku

(A.W.)—Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) parliamentary faction secretary Aghvan Vardanyan recently noted that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group co-chairing countries had the power to reduce tensions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and to prevent the killing of innocent civilians, if they so willed and proceeded to work together accordingly.Aghvan Vardanyan

During discussions in the National Assembly on Sept. 25, Vardanyan further stated that the escalation of violence by Azerbaijan fit into an established pattern, by which Azerbaijan resorts to increased violence ahead of every high-level meeting.

“There are two ways of resolving this. One is to meet force with greater force, which I think our army is already doing to a degree. The second is—and I am deeply convinced of this—if the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries were willing and worked together, they could at the very least sharply reduce the tension and the instigation [of violence] by the enemy, as well as prevent the killing of innocent people.  Ahead of every meeting regarding the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, Azerbaijan resorts to such [violent] actions, in which case our hopes rest in the strength of our army,” Vardanyan was quoted as saying by YerkirMedia.


OSCE Minsk Group Condemns Killing of Civilians, Fails to Blame Azerbaijan

'The use of such weapons represents an unacceptable escalation in the conflict,' said the OSCE Minsk Group
‘The use of such weapons represents an unacceptable escalation in the conflict,’ said the OSCE Minsk Group

The OSCE Minsk Group released a statement on Sept. 25 condemning the recent attacks and “casualties on each side of the international border and Line of Contact.” In the statement, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs expressed their “serious concern about Armenian and Azerbaijani forces using mortars and heavy weapons in and around civilian areas.” The group steered clear of blaming Azerbaijan for the killing of the three Armenian civilian women on Sept. 25, instead opting for what observers have called the group’s habit of projecting “artificial even-handedness” and addressing their appeal to both sides to refrain from targeting civilians.

“The use of such weapons represents an unacceptable escalation in the conflict. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and recognize the casualties on each side of the international border and Line of Contact. We appeal to the sides in the strongest possible terms to avoid civilian casualties. The sides have an obligation under the Geneva Conventions to protect the safety and security of non-combatants,” read a part of the Minsk Group’s statement.


OSCE Minsk Group ‘Unable’ to Determine How Violence Started

In the statement, the co-chairs also announced that they are unable to determine how the violence originated “since each side accuses the other.” However, they said the countries “should work towards an OSCE investigation mechanism as discussed between the presidents.”

A day earlier, 83-year-old Parakavar resident Baydzar Aghajanyan and Berdavan residents Shushan Asatryan, 94, and Sona Revezyan, 41, were killed by Azerbaijani artillery fire that targeted Armenian border villages in Armenia’s Tavush province. Four other civilians were wounded in the attack.

According to the co-chairs, the incidents took place on the eve of an agreed meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in New York.  “We expect the ministers to have a serious discussion on the escalation of violence and the issues surrounding a negotiated settlement,” read their statement.


Armenian Army Retaliates, 5 Azeri Soldiers Killed

Armenia’s Armed Forces retaliated against Azeri positions, reported Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces suffered five casualties; and five servicemen were reportedly injured. The Azerbaijani military base near the village of Parakavar was also reportedly destroyed. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has rejected the news, calling it “wrong and baseless,” according to Azerbaijani media reports.


Co-Chairs Meet with Minister Nalbandian

The Minsk Group Co-chairs Igor Popov, James Warlick, and Pierre Andrieu, as well as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, met with Armenian Foreign Affairs Minister Edward Nalbandian on Sept. 24, during which Nalbandian expressed his indignation over the violations of the ceasefire by Azerbaijan.

Edward Nalbandian meets OSCE Minsk group co-chairs (Photo:
Edward Nalbandian meets OSCE Minsk group co-chairs (Photo:

“Azerbaijan has developed a bad practice of escalating the situation, even at the expense of human casualties, on the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh and the border with Armenia, ahead of important visits to the region and high level meetings, thus undermining the meetings and impeding the negotiation process”, underlined Minister Nalbandian, according to a statement released by the Armenian Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Condemning the death of the three civilians in border villages, Nalbandian said “this yet another provocation by Azerbaijan came as a response to the expectation, expressed by the Minsk Group Co-chairs on holding productive talks between Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers in New York.”

According to the statement, possible steps on stabilization of the situation were also discussed at the meeting.


Schiff to Warlick: Ignoring Azerbaijan’s Increasing Belligerence Does Not Serve Peace

On Sept. 23, U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called upon the State Department to refrain from responding to future acts of Azerbaijani aggression with statements suggesting a “false equivalence between Azeri and Armenian behavior.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

In a letter addressed to Ambassador James Warlick, the State Department’s representative to the OSCE Minsk Group, Schiff warned that any “unwillingness to speak plainly about the aggressor in this conflict sends the message to Azerbaijan that it can act with impunity.”

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have continuously faced criticism for manufacturing “artificial even-handedness.” In August 2014, following attacks by Azerbaijan, Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian pointedly remarked: “The OSCE Minsk Group’s unwillingness to clearly condemn Azerbaijani military strikes has fostered a dangerous atmosphere of impunity… It is time for peace negotiators to break their bad habit of answering Aliyev’s every assault with artificial even-handedness and diplomatic double-talk. Only by unequivocally denouncing Azerbaijan’s attacks can they hope to constrain Aliyev’s march toward a renewed Caucasus war.”


Royce and Engel Work to Secure Bipartisan Support for Karabagh Peace-Keeping

Meanwhile, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) launched an action alert this week, asking community members to urge their representatives to sign a letter drafted by Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and join a bipartisan call for renewed U.S. leadership in keeping the peace along the Nagorno-Karabagh line of contact.Royce_Engel_NK_Peace_Initiative

The two senior legislators are currently collecting Congressional signatures on a letter addressed to Ambassador James Warlick—the U.S. representative to the OSCE’s Minsk Group tasked with reaching a resolution of Nagorno-Karabagh related security and status issues.  In their letter, they specifically call for the U.S. and OSCE to abandon their failed policy of false parity in responding to acts of aggression.

The ANCA Royce-Engel action alert is available at:





  1. ….OSCE Minsk Group “Unable” to Determine How Violence Started… Bunch of a**holes, at least they should have the balls to say the truth and not use the word ”Unable” otherwise it shows how incompetent they are.

  2. Those so called MINSK group are the same group instated ISIS members from countries like included Azerbayjan to fight in Syria ! you can not expect to take side a country that help sending 1000`s ISIS fighter to fight for them , do you?

  3. Another useless group. Politicians sitting side by side and talking rubbish. The useless and gutless group just as that other useless organisation called the UN. Why is there no positive action? is there something they are all afraid of or is it just the convenience of sitting on the bench doing “NOTHING” Shame on these useless organisations.

  4. “My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth there’s a hardly any difference.”_ president Harry Truman

  5. Armond,” You cannot expect to take a side with a country that helped sending 1000’s of isis to help fight for them.” Right on.
    Every year on April 24th the Armenian organizations demand the, US administration, to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Well, you cannot take a side or ask an administraton to recognize a genocide, since the same administration is the biggest culprit in creating genocides and refugees across the globe. For example, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Sudan,Egypt, Ukraine, Georgia. Next on their list is Iran then Armenia.
    Stay tuned for more global chaos and destruction brought to you by piece…ooops I meant peace loving and democracy advocating US government and her puppets, the EU.

  6. {The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries have the power to reduce tensions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and to prevent the killing of innocent civilians, if they so will and proceed to work together accordingly.}

    Good to hear this from an Armenian politician, because some random ‘Armenians’ on these pages claim relentlessly that only Russia has the power to reduce tensions on the border and to prevent the killing of innocent civilians…

  7. “OSCE Minsk Group condemns killing of civilians, fails to blame Azerbaijan.”

    As usual, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs (United States, Russia, France) are continuing to show their support for the terrorist state of Azerbaijan by continuously refusing to condemn these Azerbaijani terrorists for their terrorist attacks against Armenia and Artsakh.

    “The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs expressed their serious concern about Armenian and Azerbaijani forces using mortars and heavy weapons in and around civilian areas.”

    And exactly which mortars and heavy weapons did the Armenian forces use against Azerbaijan’s civilian areas? Not only are these OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs (United States, Russia, France) failing to condemn the terrorist state of Azerbaijan, but in addition, they’re making up false, absurd stories about the Armenian side.

    “Armenian army retaliates, 5 Azeri soldiers killed. The Azerbaijani military base near the village of Parakavar was also reportedly destroyed.”

    Beautiful news! This is precisely what the Armenian army needs to do more of (retaliate and retaliate hard) against these Azerbaijani terrorists for every single terrorist attack launched against Armenia or Artsakh.

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