Armenia was forewarned by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on Tuesday to refrain from meddling in its domestic affairs, notably in the Karabakh area.
The ministry also criticised Armenian officials for disseminating “false information” by asserting that the construction of an Azerbaijani border checkpoint on the 6 km (3.7 mi) Lachin road resulted in “a humanitarian catastrophe” and impeded the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
In a news conference with Leo Docherty, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Europe, on Monday in the Armenian capital Yerevan, Ararat Mirzoyan, the foreign minister, accused Azerbaijan of blocking the Lachin route and engaging in “ethnic cleansing.”
The Russian peacekeeping force, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local Armenians all pass through the checkpoint in both directions, according to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
The ministry urged Armenian authorities to refrain from using “dangerous rhetoric that endangers the peace and stability of the region” and cautioned that Armenia “must abandon its efforts to mislead the international community with its narratives.”
The statement said that Armenia’s support of foreign missions into Azerbaijani territory and obstruction of Baku’s talks with Armenian inhabitants of the Karabakh area are viewed as meddling in the nation’s internal affairs.
“If Armenia stands for peace and tranquilly in the region, it must end such interferences,” the ministry emphasised.
According to the ministry’s reaction to assertions that there were Armenian war prisoners in Azerbaijan, “groups sent by Yerevan after the war to commit military provocations on Azerbaijani territory… are not prisoners of war.”
The Armenian side refuses to return two Azerbaijani servicemen who got lost and crossed over to Armenian territory, holding a show trial over them, undermining confidence-building efforts, it said. “Demonstrating benevolence, Azerbaijan has returned almost half of the persons from this group to Armenia,” it said.