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Injury of Azerbaijani border guard questions need for EU mission in Armenia

Politics Materials 12 April 2024 11:59 (UTC +04:00)
Injury of Azerbaijani border guard questions need for EU mission in Armenia
Maryana Ahmadova
Maryana Ahmadova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 12. On April 10, yet another incident unfolded along the conditional border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Armenian armed forces once again unleashed gunfire on an Azerbaijani border post, resulting in the injury of an officer of the State Border Service.

Following an investigation by the Armenian National Security Service (NSS), Armenian border guards were accused of flouting regulations, which led to the shootout.

"On April 10, a conscript of the NSS border troops, upon learning that a shepherd and his flock had strayed into Azerbaijani territory, decided to cross the border unlawfully with fellow servicemen to retrieve the livestock, thereby violating service rules, which negligently caused significant damage, led to an unjustified shootout, and endangered the lives and health of people," the department stated.

However, one can't help but wonder: where was the EU monitoring mission in the middle of all this?

The EU Monitoring Mission in Armenia kicked off in January 2023. Initially, there were 100 staff members, a number that had risen to 209 by December. Yet, did none of them manage to react promptly?

Their total lack of response to the incident suggests that Europeans simply aren't prepared to shoulder this responsibility.

This isn't the first time Europeans have stayed mum or excused themselves by claiming they had no access to certain Armenian villages. When a similar incident occurred in February of this year, the EU mission shifted the blame to Russian border guards.

So, what exactly are their duties then? It was only in March 2024 that the Armenian parliament ratified the agreement with the European Union on the status of the EU observation mission, which should regulate the mission's activities and clarify its functions. So, what were the observers doing for the past year remains unclear.

Clearly, Europeans have been playing favorites with their Armenian allies all this time. The Armenian side has already taken responsibility, while the EU continues to cover for them. Once again, "binocular diplomacy" has failed.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pashinyan is suggesting that the mandate of the European mission on Armenian territory could be extended for another two years. Besides the fact that Europeans have once again demonstrated their ineffectiveness, extending their mandate simply becomes another hurdle to the demarcation of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and the conclusion of peace between the parties. At the same time, Pashinyan claims that all issues between Baku and Yerevan must be resolved independently, without third parties. What exactly is the Armenian leadership aiming for?

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