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Armenian President Warns Of 'Preventive' Strikes On Azerbaijan

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian said his country is prepared for any eventuality in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and warned Azerbaijan he would use "asymmetrical" responses to any military threats.

Sarkisian spoke on January 26 at a ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of Armenia's armed forces and mentioned the recent spike in violence in the decades-old conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

He said his country was open to negotiations and building "bridges of trust" but added if the current tensions along the border continue to increase "hotheads [in Azerbaijan] can expect some surprises."

Sarkisian warned if Armenia sees threats gathering along its borders "we reserve the right to carry out preventative strikes."

Sarkisian's comments come as the two countries have been exchanging accusations about violations of the 1994 cease-fire that left pro-Armenian forces occupying Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said on January 26 that Armenian troops had violated the cease-fire 124 times in the last 24 hours.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax