“Armenian separatists held the first place in the occupation of Shusha, but Pavel Grachev turned the officer corps of the 366th Russian regiment stationed in Khankendi into becoming pro-Armenian,” he said.
It should be recalled that Grachev’s mother is Armenian by nationality, Hasanov emphasised that Grachev served as Russian defence minister on May 8, 1992, the day of Shusha‘s occupation. He was officially appointed by Boris Yeltsin on May 17. Armenian separatists occupied Lachin region on May 18, 1992 with the help of Grachev.
During that period, Grachev used the services of people who have betrayed Azerbaijan’s interests, including former Defence Minister Rahim Gaziyev, Hasanov said.
“We must prepare our people, especially the youth to liberate our land,” he said. “We must form their loyalty to the Motherland, their land and country.”
Highlighting Russia’s current role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, Hasanov expressed the hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin will show impartiality in this issue.
“Today, Armenia has no importance for Russia,” he said. “Azerbaijan is more significant for Russia from a strategic point of view.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France, and the U.S. – are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.