From Controversy In weightlifting Event To Crisis In Armenia-Azerbaijan Borders
Azerbaijan Republic and Armenia have always shown that they are very talented in confronting and creating tensions against each other, and every minor issue can cause a tension or crisis between the two countries. In the latest examples of such tensions, Azerbaijan’s flag was burned in a weightlifting event in Yerevan and a shooting occurred in border areas between Armenia’s Gegharkunik and Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar.
Azerbaijan Republic’s flag burned!
On April 14, the opening ceremony of the 2023 European Weightlifting Championship was held in Armenian capital city. In a part of the ceremony, famous Armenian designer Aram Nikolyan set fire to Azerbaijan’s flag on stage! The move was lauded by a group of the Armenian people…
Following the incident, security forces arrested the designer, and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, who was present in the event, ordered Nikolyan’s dismissal.
Azerbaijani team’s return and prosecution
Azerbaijan Republic took part in the 2023 European Weightlifting Championship with 12 weightlifters, but after the incident, Azerbaijani authorities called on the athletes to leave Yerevan to Baku. The interesting point is that the weightlifting team of Azerbaijan did not participate in the opening ceremony due to security issues.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan condemned the flag burning incident in Armenia, and the attorney general of Azerbaijan ordered filing a lawsuit at the international court. Some nationalist citizens gathered in capital Baku, hoisted their flag and chanted anti-Armenia slogans.
Turkiye’s implicit support
Among other events related to the issue, the support by a Turkish athlete from Azerbaijan Republic was interesting. Cansu Bektash dedicated his medal of this round of competitions to Azerbaijan’s team.
Tension in borderline of Kalbajar-Gegharkunik
Concurrent with tension in Yerevan, tension escalated in border areas between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijani forces fired at the Sotk gold mine in Gegharkunik, Armenia. The Sotk gold mine is located in the borderline between the two countries.
Rosanna Grigoryan, representative of the GeoProMining Gold, said that the armed forces of Azerbaijan fired at the mine from 19 to 23 local time on Friday to Saturday morning. The mining company stopped its activity and staff were pulled out from the mine.
The incidents happen in circumstances that the tension over arrest of Azerbaijan’s military forces in Armenian soil has not subsided; so, it seems that we should wait for more escalations. It can be said that the public opinion is being prepared for a war between the two nations.