Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 25
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
Azerbaijani defense ministry issued a statement in connection with surrender of a soldier of Armenian armed forces to the Azerbaijani side, the press service of the ministry told Trend March 25.
The statement said that nothing currently threatens the security of soldier Andranik Grigoryan, who left the military unit and voluntarily surrendered to the Azerbaijani side on March 22.
"Andranik Grigoryan has no complaints about the conditions he is kept in nor his health," said the statement. "Grigoryan is completely safe and is kept in conformity with the generally accepted standards of human rights."
Armenian soldier Andranik Grigoryan, born in 1991, surrendered to the Azerbaijani side on March 22.
During the interrogation, Grigoryan said he surrendered to the Azerbaijani side because he feared a senseless death, the ministry said. The Armenian serviceman said that one more soldier, whose fate is not known to him, was also planning to surrender to the Azerbaijani side. Apparently, this soldier is no longer alive, he said.
The ministry said that according to an Armenian soldier, no matter how long the government of Armenia hides from its people information about the meaningless diversion organized on March 19, during which more than 20 soldiers were killed and dozens injured, everybody will know the truth in any case.
"Due to the lack of soldiers, civilians are posted as sentries," Grigoryan said, adding, "I don't want to be the next victim of their dirty games."
"I am fed up with the chaos and intolerable conditions prevailing in Nagorno-Karabakh, namely the absence of discipline in military units, the lack of weapons, ammunition, food and medicines, the conflicts between the local population and Armenians from Armenia, and bad relations between officers and soldiers and warrant officers," he noted.
Grigoryan added that there are a lot of people in Armenia like him, who wish to cross to the Azerbaijani side, and the lack of self-confidence is the factor preventing them to do so.
"I was thinking a lot about how to take this step, and chose to voluntarily surrender rather than stay there and wait for my own death," he said. "Contrary to my expectations, I was normally received here, I was fed and watered."
"I want to address my friends, who are being forced to hold weapon, and say that the Azerbaijanis are not as described and introduced all these years into our consciousness by the criminal power," said Grigoryan. "Do as I did, until it is too late."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by CN