"When we started to build this new Lachin road, we appealed to Armenia through the Russian side and said that – because I had foreseen that they would resort to such escapades. We suggested that we could also build a road in their territory. It is only 8-9 kilometers long. They refused," said President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in his interview to the Azerbaijan Television in Basgal settlement, APA reports.
"They said no, they would do it themselves. And when did they start it? It is actually hardly possible to describe it as a start, because they are only working on the feasibility study now. At that time, we sent an official letter to the Russian side. We sent a notice saying that we would finish the construction of this road on 5 August and asking them to transfer the posts of the peacekeeping contingent from the old road to the new road. And this is also natural. When we sent out this letter, the Armenian side probably got acquainted with it as well. A day later, Armenia declared that it wanted to start the feasibility study of this road and would build it by the end of 2023. In other words, it is actually an act of manipulation. It is a completely hollow and inappropriate step. We said that if this was the case, then on 5 August we would enter the Lachin corridor, set up our posts there and see how you would act. Then the hullaballoo started. The Armenians living in Karabakh appealed to us, they asked us many times to give them time until the end of August. We agreed to that. After all, it doesn't matter whether it is 5 August, 25 August or 1 September. The Armenians living in Karabakh also asked us to build a 4-kilometer ground road to the point where it will be connected to the Armenian border. We agreed to that but, of course, those who had illegally settled in the city of Lachin, the villages of Zabukh and Sus should leave. This is natural. Their stay there is actually a war crime. It runs counter to the Geneva conversions. The occupying country cannot carry out illegal settlement in the occupied lands. This is a war crime. The Armenians from Syria and Lebanon who had settled may not know this, but the Armenian leadership knows it perfectly well. So news is coming in from there now, as someone says that they won't leave, others says they won't leave. It is up to them. They are war criminals. Let them not test our patience again. Let them leave of their own free will. We don't care where they go."