As border tensions in the South Caucasus increase to the level of possible all-out war, regional powers are starting to take notice as Azerbaijan threatened to destroy a nuclear power plant in Armenia, creating a nuclear disaster.
The shelling and skirmishes between the two nations, a ‘frozen conflict’ created from the fall of the Soviet Union, continues unabated. The primary conflict is over the Nagorno-Karabakh region which both Azerbaijan and Armenia claim as their own.
“The Armenian side should keep in mind that our armed forces have advanced missile systems in service, capable of conducting high-precision strikes on the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, which may result in a huge disaster for Armenia,” Vagif Dargyakhly, a Colonel in the Azer army said, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
He added that “land topography of the Mingachevir water reservoir, protective land works in the area and advanced air defense systems in service with the country’s missile defense troops make a strike on this strategically important facility impossible.”
Yerevan described the Azerbaijani defense ministry’s statement as “a crime.”
“I would like to stress that Armenian officials have never mentioned the possibility of attacking Azerbaijan’s civilian infrastructure. We even avoid shelling houses. Our diplomats and politicians are already working on a statement about the possible strike on the Metsamor NPP. Statements of this kind are a crime,” Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Ovannisyan told reporters, wrote TASS.
The Kremlin made it known it was very concerned about the situation and ready to mediate a solution.
President Vladimir Putin and members of Russia’s Security Council expressed “extreme concern” over the flare-up in fighting between the South Caucasus countries that erupted last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, reported The Moscow Times.
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