In the October 4 briefing, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Maria Zakharova, accused the EU observation mission stationed in Armenia of “showing a low-down attitude” during the Azerbaijani aggression in Nagorno Karabakh on September 19.
“The EU observers did not come under the fire, from which the Russian peacekeepers tragically perished,” said Zakharova.
As a result of the Azerbaijani attack, 6 Russian peacekeepers were killed in Nagorno Karabakh on September 20. Baku claimed that “the incident happened by mistake” and offered financial compensation to the Russian side.
The Fact Investigation Platform studied the documents setting out the obligations of the EU observation mission stationed in Armenia for a period of two years and found out that Zakharova is manipulating the essence of the mission’s mandate.
When accusing the European observers of inaction during the latest Azerbaijani aggression in Nagorno Karabakh, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry actually attributes to them obligations that do not derive from the mandate of the mission.
The purpose of the observation mission, the scope of obligations and the geography of activity refer exclusively to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. According to the document describing the observers’ mandate, the mission monitors the security situation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, on the side of the Republic of Armenia.
In fact, the purpose of the mission is to contribute to the establishment of stability exclusively in the border regions of Armenia, and it does not extend to Nagorno Karabakh.
Zakharova’s remark that the observers “did not come under fire from which the Russian peacekeepers perished” is also manipulative. Based on their mandate, the observers could not be in Nagorno-Karabakh, and come under Azerbaijani fire, unlike the Russian peacekeepers.