"We are trying to manage the force scenarios put forward by Baku" - Pashinyan
Pashinyan on aggravation on the border with Azerbaijan
“The situation is tense because Azerbaijan has created a certain concentration of troops on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and around Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Armenian prime minister said on Public TV.
In connection with the aggravation of the border situation over the weekend, Nikol Pashinyan had telephone conversations with the US Secretary of State, the leaders of France, Georgia, Iran and the German Chancellor. In the interview, he said that first of all he called the Russian president. And the purpose of subsequent calls, he said, was to convey information to those partners who “are not aware of some nuances” of the situation.
Pashinyan also answered the question why he did not congratulate the president-elect of the unrecognized NKR over the weekend, spoke about his phone conversation with Erdogan, Armenian-Russian relations, and his wife’s trip to Kyiv.
About the conversation with Erdogan
Pashinyan did not disclose the details of the phone conversation with the Turkish president, which took place a few hours before his interview. He only said that a “meaningful and useful” conversation took place:
“It is also important that there are a number of mutual nuances. There should be constant communication regarding these nuances, positions, and assessments”.
“There’s no need to politicize” – about the spouse’s trip
“My wife has long been a member of the partnership of First Ladies and Gentlemen and participates in events within the framework of this partnership. By the way, a similar event is planned in Armenia,” Pashinyan said about Anna Hakobyan’s visit to Kyiv.
The Prime Minister believes that this trip is being “unnecessarily politicized”.
“There’s not much to congratulate.”
Asked why he did not congratulate President Samvel Shahramanyan, elected over the weekend by the parliament of the unrecognized NKR, Pashinyan said: “The situation is such that there is nothing much to congratulate.” He believes that “a very heavy responsibility has been put on the shoulders of the newly elected president.”
In Pashinyan’s opinion, “in order not to politicize the humanitarian crisis that has developed in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Armenian side should correlate its approaches with the position of the international community rather than oppose them:
“We should focus our efforts on overcoming the humanitarian crisis that has developed in Nagorno-Karabakh. We should not allow the humanitarian essence of the issue to be transformed into a political one due to excessive politicization.”
The Prime Minister assured that “there is, was and will be contact with the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh. And it is necessary in order to be aware of the situation “at first hand”.
On “recognizing Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan”
Was it necessary to “recognize Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan”, given that tensions on the border have since increased and Azerbaijan’s rhetoric has toughened? Pashinyan answered that Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared mutual recognition of territorial integrity. We are talking about the territory of 29,800 square kilometers of Armenia and 86,600 square kilometers of Azerbaijan.
“There was a question whether Nagorno-Karabakh is included in the 86,600 square kilometers, and I answered yes,” he clarified.
According to Pashinyan, with this statement he “tried to fix an agreement on the architecture of the settlement of the situation and crisis.” Meanwhile, Azerbaijan is not always faithful to the agreements reached, the prime minister once again emphasized:
The Prime Minister says the problem is that Azerbaijan demonstrates its approach to resolving issues by force. While the Armenian side is trying with political statements “to somehow manage the force scenarios that Azerbaijan is constantly putting forward.” Pashinyan emphasized that he is trying to find such formulations so that the legitimacy of Armenia’s positions would be invulnerable.
“The Prague statement does not invalidate the Nov. 9 document.”
When accusations are heard from official Yerevan about the failure of Russian peacekeepers to fulfill their obligations in MK, Russia, referring to the Prague statement and the “recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan”, claims that the situation has changed since then.
Referring to this topic, the prime minister stressed that before this statement, Russia itself had twice officially declared Nagorno-Karabakh an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan:
“The Prague and all other agreements did not cancel the obligations imposed on the parties by the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020. In turn, the 2020 statement could not cancel the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration, which is a de jure recognition of the independence of all CIS countries”.
On ratification of the Rome Statute
“There is no connection here with Armenian-Russian relations,” Pashinyan said, commenting on the possible ratification of the Rome Statute by the Armenian parliament. According to the prime minister, the need for ratification is conditioned by the tension on the border with Azerbaijan. According to him, Armenia started this process back in December 2022. However, there was an “unfortunate coincidence in the context of Russia and the Hague Criminal Court,” Pashinyan said, referring to the Russian president’s arrest warrant.
“We are ratifying because we want the events of September 2022 and the events of May 2021 to be investigated by the International Criminal Court. This is another factor that can have a significant impact on raising the level of our security in conditions when the CSTO has not and is not fulfilling its obligations to Armenia,” the Armenian prime minister stressed.
Pashinyan on aggravation on the border with Azerbaijan