The Threads of the April War: Putin Not Attending


The Belorussian service of Sputnik Agency informed that Putin will not attend the opening ceremony of the second European games which will take place in Minsk. This is the so-called European Olympics which was first held four years ago in Baku.

Interestingly, Putin attended the opening of the games in Baku. Moreover, Erdogan was also attending the event, and Putin, Aliyev and Erdogan formed a so-called high-ranking trio. Did Putin decide not to go to Minsk because of bad relations with Lukashenko or because Erdogan is not going to be there?

Recently the chair of the National Olympic Committee of Armenia Gagik Tsarukyan met with the Armenian athletes participating in the second European Games and wished them success. Four years ago he also saw them off to Baku with the same wish. There our athletes fought a battle in the direct and psychological sense of the word. And despite the bad Azerbaijani organization, obvious support of the European referees when everything was done to make sure that the Armenian athletes do not win a single gold and the anthem of Armenia is not played in Baku, our athletes were able to win medals and raise the Armenian flag, despite an outrageous behavior of the audience.

Nevertheless, the behavior of the political and sports leaders of Armenia towards the conduct of and participation in the European games in Baku remained an issue. In the silence of the political government, the sports leaders, the National Olympic Committee of Armenia, made a decision to participate. By the way, both the Minsk Group co-chairs and the heads of the international and European Olympic committees visiting Yerevan had encouraged this decision.

Hence, by participating in the first European games held in Baku Yerevan actually legitimized Aliyev’s “Olympic” image, receiving a new border aggression in return for this. Two months after the Olympic games Aliyev was shelling and firing at Tavush region, up to the town of Noyemberyan which is far from the border. The Armenian side had one civilian death.

And about 9-10 months later Azerbaijan unleashed the aggression in April 2016, by then having breached the ceasefire regularly and killed Armenian servicemen. In addition, the Armenian side made a decision to participate in the Olympic games in Baku when Azerbaijan had attacked, killed, unleashed a subversive war in Tavush throughout 2014, and in November of the same year Azerbaijan downed the Armenian helicopter and would not allow the Armenian side to recover the bodies of the crew.

In addition, Azerbaijan’s official anti-Armenian propaganda and policy had culminated by then. In this setting the Armenian government silently legitimized Aliyev’s policy. And as to what Putin, Erdogan and Aliyev discussed on the Olympics in Baku, that possibly emerged in further expressions of aggression.

By the way, currently an ad hoc parliamentary committee is studying the circumstances of the April war. This war was not just a military action, as any other war cannot be. Hence, all the circumstances should be studied, including all the possible threads hanging in different directions, including political and sports, to understand what were the wrong decisions which led to dangerous consequences. And finally whether there were mistakes or deals.

Prime Minister Pashinyan has stated that the purpose of the ad hoc committee is to understand the situation and ensure that Armenia will never appear in a similar situation again.

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