On Thursday, May 13, acting PM Nikol Pashinyan chaired a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the situation in the (Sev Lich) Black Lake area of the Syunik region.
“It is already the second day that there is an explosive situation in the vicinity of Lake Syunik region. The reason is that some groups of servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have crossed the state border of Armenia and taken actions to enclose Lake Black. The Armenian Armed Forces carried out tactical counterattacks. The Azeris stationed in some adjacent areas have left the occupied territories as a result of tactical counterattacks of our armed forces. No case of use of firearms or other weapons has been registered by the representatives of the Armenian or Azerbaijani armed forces so far.
However, about 250 members of the Azerbaijani armed forces are still inside our state borders in some parts of Syunik and Gegharkunik regions. An in-depth and comprehensive assessment of the situation makes it clear that what the Azerbaijanis carried out is a provocation that could have much broader military-political goals. I mean, the Azeris may have crossed the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the area not to solve local problems, but to provoke a military conflict.
This is evidenced by the following facts:
First, the representatives of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces try to explain their presence in the area by means of obviously falsified maps, trying to substantiate with them that it is an Azerbaijani territory. As I have already mentioned, the maps approved during the Soviet Union make it clear that these claims of Azerbaijan have no basis, of which the Azerbaijanis themselves know.
Second, n the day of the start of the provocations, Azerbaijan announced the holding of large-scale military exercises with the participation of 15,000 servicemen on May 16.
Third, at the end of April, the President of Azerbaijan made open threats against the territorial integrity of Armenia, saying that he would use force to open a corridor between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, in the form of the Zangezur corridor.
Our assessment is unequivocal: the situation is fully in line with Article 2 2 2 of the Collective Security Treaty, which states, I quote, “a threat to the security, territorial integrity, sovereignty of one or more States Parties, or a threat to international peace and security.” In the event of an emergency, States Parties shall immediately activate the mechanism of joint consultations to coordinate their positions and take measures to eliminate the threat.
Based on the above, I instruct the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Ara Ayvazyan, the Acting Minister of Defense Vagharshak Harutyunyan, the Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan:
First, take measures to launch consultations under Article 2 of the Collective Security Treaty, in particular, to coordinate the positions of the CSTO member states and to eliminate the threat posed.
Second, take measures to launch the procedures provided for in the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s Crisis Response Regulation of December 10, 2010. This procedure, I would like to remind you, defines the mechanism for making decisions on joint actions aimed at resolving crisis situations.
I consider it necessary to emphasize that although at the moment we do not have any cases of shooting in the mentioned stages of events, the rapid implementation of the above-mentioned procedures of the Collective Security Treaty Organization is necessary to prevent further escalation of events to protect the territorial integrity, stability and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia. And we are taking these measures as a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.”