No:525/22, Press Release on detection of new landmines produced in Armenia in the territories of Azerbaijan and continuing landmine threat
As reported by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 350 anti-personnel PMN-E type landmines produced in Armenia in 2021, and installed by Armenian armed detachments, which have not yet been withdrawn from the territories of Azerbaijan, were detected in the northern direction of the Sarıbaba high ground. It should be noted that since August of 2022, including above-mentioned landmines, a total of 2,728 landmines made in Armenia in 2021 were detected and neutralized, out of which were 1,119 landmines in the Kalbajar and Lachin districts along the border area between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as 1,609 in the territory of the Karabakh Economic Region.
On November 23, at the invitation of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, Major General Andrei Volkov, Commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces temporarily deployed in Azerbaijan, Major General Fatih Akpinar, Head of the Turkish contingent of the Turkish-Russian Joint Monitoring Center, and Rear Admiral Oleg Semyonov, Head of the Russian contingent of the center visited the mentioned territory and inspected landmines. On November 24, foreign countries’ military attachés accredited to the Republic of Azerbaijan and media representatives also visited the area.
The mentioned circumstances once again demonstrate that while Armenia have not fully withdrawn its forces from the territory of Azerbaijan, in violation of Paragraph 4 of the Trilateral Statement of November 10, 2020, also abuses the Lachin road for its illegal military activities in gross violation of paragraph 6 of the Trilateral Statement by transferring landmines, and hereby carrying out provocations against Azerbaijan.
The continuation of military provocations by Armenia in the territories of Azerbaijan, non-withdrawal of its forces completely from our territories, persistence of intentional planting of landmines of our territories are the main threats that impede the large-scale rehabilitation and reconstruction works carried out in the post-conflict period, as well as to the civilians operating in these territories, and to the return of internally displaced persons and their peaceful living in their places.
We would like to remind that, since the end of the Patriotic War of 2020, 268 of our citizens became victims of mine explosions, when 45 people, including 3 journalists, were killed. Out of the 45 who died, 35 were civilians.
The above-mentioned facts once again demonstrate that Armenia is hindering the normalization process and efforts to establish peace in the region. This action by Armenia is a war crime, a serious violation of international humanitarian law and the obligations undertaken by Armenia within the framework of the Trilateral Statement.