Anna Mkrtchyan, MP from the “I Have Honor” faction of the National Assembly, claimed that there was an attack by Azerbaijan in the fall of 2022 in the presence of EU observers.
“The EU observers said that it would be good if there were no attacks in different periods: autumn, sprin; and if there are no attacks in a certain time of the year or due to the weather, it means that it is their victory. In the presence of EU observers, there was an attack, escalation and seizure of the sovereign territory of Armenia in the fall, it also happened in the spring,” Mkrtchyan told journalists on May 11, referring to the activities of the EU civilian observation mission deployed in Armenia.
When were EU observers deployed in Armenia?
The decision to deploy the EU’s first civilian mission in Armenia was made during the quadrilateral meeting held in Prague on October 6, 2022, weeks after the aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan in September of the same year.
From October 20 of the same year, 40 European civilian observers were deployed in Armenia for two months, ending their activities on December 19.
In the two months since the deployment of the first EU mission, there were no attacks on the sovereign territory of Armenia or “seizure” of territories by Azerbaijan, as Anna Mkrtchyan claims. Therefore, the claim about the attack and occupation of territories by Azerbaijan in the presence of EU observers is false.
The second EU mission was deployed from February 2023 for a period of 2 years. During that period, two relatively large border incidents were registered – one in April in Tegh village of Syunik province, the other in May in Sotk community of Gegharkunik province.
What information do observers report to Baku?
Anna Mkrtchyan also claimed that the EU observers serve Turkish-Azerbaijani interests by sharing the information they collect with the Azerbaijani side.
“The observers said that they send all the documents they collect to Azerbaijan… He (Nikol Pashinyan – Ed.) knew very well that he was bringing the observers here to show support to the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem,” said the MP.
On April 10, the European newspaper Político, referring to one of the high-ranking diplomats of the EU, reported that the EU observation mission provides information on the activities of the patrols to Azerbaijan in order to avoid problems.
The unnamed diplomat did not specify the nature of the information provided. Instead, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia came up with clarifications. Responding to the inquiry by Panorama.am, the ministry stated that the EU mission informs the Azerbaijani side only about its patrol route.
“As part of the implementation of its functions, the mission is in constant contact with the relevant agencies of Armenia, which are informed that due to security reasons, the EU mission informs the Azerbaijani side only about its patrol route, so that the movement of the convoy of the EU mission does not become a reason for misunderstanding and tension,” the response read.
Thus, the MP’s claim regarding the nature of the information provided by the EU to Azerbaijan is groundless.