BRUSSELS, Belgium— The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) strongly condemned Azerbaijan for its latest escalation of violence on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact (LoC), and expressed its condolences to the families of Armenian soldiers killed while on duty, in a statement released on June 19.
On June 16-17, four Armenian servicemen were killed by the Azerbaijani armed forces, who utilized anti-tank grenade launchers against Armenian positions. The EAFJ called it the worst violation of the ceasefire regime since the 2016 April War.
President of EAFJD Kaspar Karampetian said that the Azerbaijani authorities have recently come under pressure in Europe regarding their gross violations of human rights and democracy in their own country, as well as the failure of “caviar diplomacy” and the legal cases against some of Azerbaijan’s disgraced lobbyists abroad. As a result, according to the EAFJD, Azerbaijan is trying to shift the attention to Artsakh.
“On a day when Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations visits Baku to discuss the new EU-Azerbaijan agreement, Azerbaijan provokes its neighbors and kills three servicemen. [This] proves the Aliyev regime’s true face,” said Karampetian. “Europe’s energy diversification will not be achieved by emboldening a doubtful dictator in Baku who threatens regional peace,” concluded Kaspar Karampetian.
Armenian serviceman Narek Gasparyan (b. 1997) was killed by Azerbaijani fire on June 17, becoming the fourth Artsakh Defense Army soldier to be killed as a result of Azerbaijani aggression over a span of nearly 24 hours. A day earlier, on June 16, Artsakh Defense Army servicemen Arayik Matinyan (b. 1997), Vigen Petrosyan (b. 1997), and Vardan Sargsyan (b. 1997) were fatally wounded.
The Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group expressed deep concern over the recent violations of the Artsakh ceasefire, resulting in casualties on the Line of Contact (LoC), after meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on June 19.