BRUSSELS — Azerbaijan is buying drones and military equipment from abroad amid heightened tensions with Armenia, Armenia’s Ambassador to the EU Tigran Balayan told Brussels Signal.

Balayan said Armenia has tracked suspected munitions purchases which have reportedly come in on military flights from countries including Israel and Turkey. These deliveries are suspected to include drones.

“60 per cent or 70 per cent of Azerbaijani military hardware comes from Israel, then Turkey,” he said during an interview with Justin Stares, Head of News at Brussels Signal.

He also noted that there had been increased military flights from Serbia, which, he said, had “just announced the agreement about selling some sophisticated artillery equipment to Azerbaijan.”

Speaking about the latest Azeri attack in Syunik province which left 4 Armenian troops dead, Ambassador Balayan said that the shooting could’ve been Azerbaijan’s response to increased Armenian cooperation with the European Union.

“That [attack] was a message, not only to Armenia, but also to Brussels,” Balayan said, noting that the incident took place several hours before an EU-Armenia Partnership Council meeting.

The attack represented an explicit “challenge” to EU “authority” in the region, he said.

According to the Armenian ambassador, Azerbaijan has no intention to end the conflict with Armenia.

“Despite all the warning calls, Azerbaijan didn’t stop its aggressive rhetoric, aggressive actions, killing, and provocation,” he said.

Balayan  also stated that Azerbaijan is desecrating the graves of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan has begun destroying religious artefacts belonging to the former Armenian population of the region, the vast majority of whom have since fled the territory.

“The war against Armenian cemeteries has started. We have tons of video and photo evidence that they are starting to ruin the cemeteries in the villages and also the churches.”

Balayan went on to claim the country was also demolishing smaller churches across Nagorno-Karabakh, saying that the one in his native village had been destroyed.

Azerbaijan has, he added, also removed religious symbols from larger buildings.

“All the crosses from all Armenian churches in Nagorno-Karabakh were removed by occupying soldiers,” he said.

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