"Not a single millimeter of Armenian territory is up for debate" - Pashinyan
The situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan
“At the meeting of the UN Security Council, Armenia presented its position: the armed forces of Azerbaijan must withdraw from the sovereign territory of Armenia. This is not only refers to the September invasion, but also the Sotk-Khoznavar sector, which the Azerbaijani Armed Forces invaded in May of last year,” the Prime Minister of Armenia stated at a government meeting.
Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said that the majority of countries at the meeting agreed that the use of force was unacceptable, reiterated the inviolability of the sovereign territory of Armenia, and stressed that Azerbaijani military units must return to their original positions.
At a meeting of the Armenian government on September 16, nothing was discussed except for Azerbaijan’s invasion of sovereign Armenian territory.
The most important details of the cabinet’s discussion.
- “Everything depends on Moscow and Baku” – the opinion of an Armenian political scientist on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh
“They stopped putting an equal sign between the aggressor and the victim”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs announced details of the discussion of the situation on the border with Azerbaijan in the UN Security Council. Two meetings were held at the request of Armenia. The first discussion was closed, the second open. However, no document was signed.
According to Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, this circumstance should in no way detract from the significance of the discussions. He is certain that the international community has made up its mind:
“The term “aggression” has been repeatedly used. There is a very clear understanding that this is aggression, an invasion of the sovereign territory of Armenia.”
The Minister is pleased that many countries “boldly ceased to put an equal sign between the aggressor and the object of aggression.” He stressed that in the case of “certain countries”, the expectations of the Armenian side were not fully justified. However, Mirzoyan diplomatically evaded specifying which nations he was talking about.
“Last night I had another telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, the country chairing the council. An agreement was reached that the situation should remain at the center of the UN Security Council’s attention,” Pashinyan told members of the Cabinet.
“Aggression against Armenia and Armenian democracy”
According to the Prime Minister, the point of view that “Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia is also aggression against Armenian democracy” is not without foundation. Armen Grigoryan, Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, agrees. He recalled that the first invasion of the Azerbaijani armed forces into the sovereign territory of Armenia took place in May 2021, when the country was preparing for snap elections.
“Armenia tried to use one of the most important instruments of democracy, elections, to ensure internal stability and overcome the crisis [the political crisis after the defeat in the second Karabakh war],” the Secretary of the Security Council said.
The Prime Minister of Armenia vowed that democratic reforms would continue despite the invasions.
Pashinyan said that the government has set three priorities for itself in the coming years: peace, education, reforms in the army, and that work in these areas will continue.
Azerbaijan’s actions, in his opinion, are also aimed at preventing Armenia from developing and becoming a competitive state:
“No aggression can distract us from our values and goals, which are enshrined in articles of our constitution that are not subject to change.”
“Steps are being taken to achieve lasting peace and stability”
According to Nikol Pashinyan, recent events do not detract from the importance of the peace agenda being pursued by his government, but underscore its necessity, and Armenia will consistently follow the path of establishing lasting peace in the region.
The Prime Minister said that Armenia is still involved in the political and negotiation process, including the commission on demarcation and delimitation of the border with Azerbaijan.
“We have a clear position: we will take all possible steps to achieve lasting peace and stability. However, any attempt to use the process of demarcation and delimitation to assert territorial claims is unacceptable to us. Armenia has an area of 29.8 square kilometers, and not a single millimeter of this territory is up for discussion,” Pashinyan said.
Latest information on the situation at the border, casualties and wounded
The prime minister announced that 135 Armenian soldiers have now been killed. He added “we have a lot of wounded,” without giving a number.
Human Rights Defender Kristine Grigoryan stressed that not only civilian infrastructure had been fired upon, but also civilians. She said that one civilian had been killed and six wounded.
According to Grigoryan, the ombudsman’s office is now collecting all the information about war crimes, which will be published in the form of a report.
Defense Minister Suren Papikyan stated that the operational situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is currently relatively calm.
On the evening of September 14, Defense Ministry spokesman Aram Torosyan said that from 20:00 the shooting had practically ceased in all directions. Reports published thereafter said that there were no significant incidents at the border.
However, the Prime Minister stressed that the situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains tense. At meetings of the Security Council, the issue of introducing martial law was discussed, but so far they have decided to abstain.
Pashinyan also said that all citizens who want to participate in the defense of the motherland can sign up for service “on a voluntary basis.” To do this, they need to contact military enlistment offices.
“Damage will be repaired”
As a result of the joint work of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Ministry of Territorial Administration, damage to 60 homes only in the town of Sotk were noted.
In the Gegharkunik region, residential buildings were destroyed, hectares of wheat and barley fields were destroyed, and a gas pipeline was damaged. In the Syunik region, ambulances and power lines were damaged by shelling. In Vayots Dzor civil transport, a sanatorium building, guest houses, a cable car were destroyed. Two shells hit the Kechut reservoir.
Pashinyan said that it is important to record all damage and destruction in order to
- take measures obtain compensation for the damage caused to residents,
- to document war crimes of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in order to consider them in the future in international relations.
The situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan