Speaking with representatives from state-controlled TV stations, Azerbaijan’s leader expressed renewed annoyance with international mediators’ approach to the Karabakh conflict.

“Their main thesis is that this problem has no military solution. And who decided that?” Ilham Aliyev asked rhetorically, implying that he could resume military pressure along the Line of Contact, largely suspended since 2017.

“We expect that mediators come with more clear cut statements” criticizing Armenia. Aliyev referred, in particular, to Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan’s August 2019 speech at the rally in Stepanakert, where he declared that “Artsakh is Armenia and that is it!”

Aliyev called recent foreign minister talks – held via video conference because of the Covid-19 pandemic – “meaningless.”

These latest remarks came a week after the OSCE Minsk Group of mediators issued a statement warning parties to avoid a new escalation in fighting or inflammatory rhetoric.