YEREVAN, August 11. /ARKA/. Armenia is ready for a media war, and the latest border incidents showed this, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with ArmNews.
In late July and early August, raids from the Azerbaijani side became frequent. As a result, 25 Azerbaijani and six Nagorno-Karabakh servicemen have been killed.
“Unlike our neighbors, who set mediaeval public relations, we are an open society and our press is free,” Sargsyan said. “Although we are accused of controlling the press, the majority of media outlets know very well that they are free.”
He said that some media outlets and persons tried to present the opponent’s information to the Armenian society as the truth, but this lasted not so long – “they have managed to unite and take a right stance without any instruction from above”.
“Even our political opponents who have taken a very tight attitude toward the authorities have found courage to react positively to the authorities’ steps, and it is compliment to them,” the president said.
He added that when the Azerbaijani leaders say that no people remain in Armenia and that the country is on the edge of collapse, they often repeat words of some Armenian opposition activists.
“I want to say that such an attitude inspires Azerbaijanis, and I ask our opposition to be more restrained,” Sargsyan said in his televised interview. “I am not calling on them to stop struggling against us, since the opposition exists to struggle against the authorities, I just think it is wrong to encourage enemies in ‘no war no peace’ situation and amid the growing tension on the border.”
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it.
Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes. On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations.
Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France. -0---