“Difficult decisions” for Pashinyan spark protests in Armenia
Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia
The Prime Minister of Armenia‘s statement that he is ready to sign a document that will ensure security and a stable peace for Armenia caused bewilderment and even protest in the society. People took to the streets and gathered in front of government buildings.
What the prime minister said, what he meant, the latest news from him about the situation at the border, attempts to achieve de-escalation, possible developments, and from the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Health.
“I will sign this document” – Pashinyan’s scandalous statement and clarifications
The Prime Minister of Armenia said that he had taken on the responsibility of making difficult decisions in the name of peace. But “difficult does not mean decisions that are contrary to the state interests of Armenia.” He said he would sign the document, which would bring peace and security to Armenia, but is now being criticized and denounced as a “traitor”.
“I will sign the document that will ensure this, let me be clear. I am not interested in what will happen to me after that, I am interested in what will happen to Armenia,” Pashinyan said.
The public took this to mean that the document would refer to the right of Armenians to live in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page:
“Dear compatriots, I urge you not to succumb to manipulation! No document has been signed and is not being prepared for signing.”
The head of the ruling Civil Contract party, Hayk Konjoryan, also published a clarification:
“The Prime Minister said today in the National Assembly that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia is a red line, and we will do everything to preserve the territorial integrity of our country. We are ready to sign a document that will ensure lasting peace and security for Armenia. Now the most important thing. At the moment, there is NO such document, nothing will be signed. We are talking about a hypothetical decision in the future that would express our state interests.”
Prime Minister on the situation at the border
During his speech in parliament, Nikol Pashinyan also said that the main political task of Armenia is to “repulse the aggressor from the territory of the country,” referring to the invasion of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the Sotk-Khoznavar sector on May 12, 2021. Despite the repeated demands of Armenia to leave its sovereign territory and return to their original positions, the Azerbaijani military has not yet moved and even strengthened its positions.
Pashinyan said that during the invasion on May 12, 2021, Azerbaijan occupied 40sqm Armenian territory, and after the latest attack, another 10sqm.
He also confirmed that during hostilities that began on September 13, 105 soldiers have already been killed.
Who is Armenia’s ally?
“Who is our ally? Why are we alone?” MPs asked Pashinyan. In response, the Prime Minister noted that Armenia’s ally is Russia and the CSTO military bloc. He said that during the extraordinary meeting of the CSTO held the night before, a process began that “will have its own specific aims”:
“During the meeting, our partners voiced a clear assessment that the armed forces of Azerbaijan had invaded the sovereign territory of Armenia. If such statements are made in this format, they will not remain without consequences. The procedure has been launched and we will do everything so that it reaches its logical conclusion.”
According to Pashinyan, military intervention is not the only possible scenario; political and diplomatic influence must also be considered.
The Armenian government has asked Russia, the UN Security Council, and the CSTO for help. Late last night an extraordinary meeting was held by videoconference. It was decided to send a CSTO mission headed by the Secretary General of the organization to the conflict zone. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia announced from the rostrum of the Parliament that the observation mission would be in Armenia on September 15.
According to the Prime Minister, Armenia applied to the body on the basis of the fourth article of the Collective Security Treaty, which states that aggression against a member country is tantamount to aggression against other countries.
“We turned to the CSTO for support, including military support, to restore the territorial integrity of Armenia and ensure the withdrawal of Azerbaijani armed forces from the territory of Armenia,” Pashinyan said.
Ministry of Defense denies the capture of Armenian settlements
Throughout the day the Ministry of Defense reported on the tense situation at the border. From 15:00 to 17:00, the Armenian Defense Ministry stated that the situation had escalated to the limit; Azerbaijan was conducting “intensive rocket attacks along the entire border from Sotk to Goris, during which peaceful settlements were shelled, and strike drones were widely used” .
But in the evening, information appeared that shelling in all directions had practically ceased at 20:00.
Defense Ministry spokesman Aram Torosyan also denied rumors that some Armenian settlements had come under the control of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. He cautioned against rumors and said to rely rather on official information.
There are casualties among the civilian population
According to the Ministry of Health, six civilians have been injured in the Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia. Four of them are still receiving treatment at various hospitals in Yerevan.
Parliament Speaker Alen Simonyan sent a letter to international partners claiming that Baku is deliberately hitting civilian infrastructure.
According to the speaker of the parliament, there are casualties among the civilian population, but he did not specify the number.
Another Armenian prisoner in Baku
So far there is no official information in Armenia on how many soldiers have been captured.
The office of the Armenian Commissioner for International Legal Affairs reported that one prisoner has been identified from a video circulating on social networks.
The Government of Armenia filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights with a request to oblige Baku to ensure the right to health and life of the alleged prisoner of war․
Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia