Member of the European Parliament, Cypriot politician Eleni Theocharous in the interview with ArmLur.am expressed her opinion about the causes and consequences of the four day war along the line of contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
– Mrs. Theocharous, as for you, who was the initiator of the military actions and what intentions did they have?
– There is no doubt that the responsibility of the conflict belongs to the government of Azerbaijan. It is obvious that there was a number of provocative military actions which do not aim only at military targets but also at civilian innocent persons. Among these victims, there are children. This is inhuman and unacceptable. The government of Azerbaijan bears the legal and political responsibility. It intended to create a destabilising situation, which puts at risk the whole region. It is evident that the Azeri leadership has the illusion of being in a positon to re-occupy Nagorno – Karabakh.
– In your opinion what caused the launch of the military actions particularly in this period?
-The government of Azerbaijan faces so many problems related to the democratic deficit which is a political and legal reality through which the human rights are restricted. Thus, the Azeri regime attempts to fuel the soul and the minds of its people with blind rage and disorient them from their real problems. It is also well known that fascist regimes lead always to imperialistic acts.
-From your point of view, who really stands behind this?
-I do not know whether a conspiracy theory exists. What I know is that Turkey came to immediately support the new aggressive military actions caused by the government of Azerbaijan…
–Now we see that Azerbaijan continues breaking April 5th ceasefire and there isn’t any condemning announcement directed to Azerbaijan. Which is the reason of this silence?
–The positive outcome of this ceasefire does not depend only on the Azeri side but also on the efforts and the pressure that the international community intend to exercise over Baku. I consider that Russia can play a critical role as the Caucasus region belongs to its zone of influence. Do not wait from the EU an impressive and effective initiative.
-What about the role of international community. Why didn’t they take practical steps.
–They can play their own role, but it takes two to tango. Therefore, they need and we need, as EU, the Azeri government to follow a constructive policy leaving behind the military attacks.
-Was it a war or you can give some other definition?
It was a military crisis in which the aggressive party was and still is Azerbaijan and an attempt to check the reaction of our forces. If crimes have been perpetrated, the international justice should take action. This is a legal procedure and a sort of preventive policy.
-If you have followed the clashes of 1990s in Nagorno-Karabakh, what a difference do these incidents carry?
-At that period, it was a liberating war. However, even now, the Armenians are exercising their right of self-defence, which is enshrined in the UN Charter, article 51. During the clashes in the decade of 90th, the Armenians got involved in a liberating war. Now, the Azeri government attempted to resume an offensive conflict, which is against the agreement on the ceasefire signed in 1994 and the international law. The weapons in the hands of both sides are much more modern and effective.
-If you are aware, on April 10 the bodies of 18 servicemen of the NKR Defense Army were transferred to the NKR side during the exchange. All of them were mutilated, dismembered. How do you assess such atrocities towards not only the servicemen but also peaceful civilians?
-These atrocities are a disgrace for the international community and those who are responsible should be sent before the Hage Tribunal. The Armenian side should submit all the relevant documents to the International Community of Justice asking for the punishment of those who are guilty. As you know the international community does not function like a state. The structures are different. The same applies for the institutions. You should take into consideration that beyond international law, there are others parameters influencing the decisions. Most of the time, when states act in the international arena, they do not follow what the rules of international law provide for, but what their national interests order them to do.