"Armenia is not an outpost for the realization of foreign plans" - Pashinyan
Pashinyan on Armenia’s security
The Armenian Prime Minister said that the lack of trust between the his country and Azerbaijan is the reason why Yerevan and Baku have not yet signed a peace agreement.
“Every time we see in Azerbaijan’s statements, perhaps Azerbaijan in ours, the intention to abandon the agreements and plan aggressive actions, which negatively affects the textual work on the peace agreement,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
He went on that Armenia’s political will to conclude a peace agreement with Azerbaijan in the coming months is unwavering. But there are “several key issues that require clarification.” One of them is “the formation of a mechanism for overcoming possible discrepancies in the text of the agreement.” He also considers it vital to create security guarantees so that “there is no possibility of any escalation after the signing of the peace agreement.”
The Prime Minister promised to intensify diplomatic and political work to resolve these issues and periodically inform the country’s residents about the results.
“Three principles have been agreed upon with Baku”
Pashinyan emphasized that Armenia intends to sign a peace treaty, but cannot “sign it alone.” Three basic principles were agreed upon with Azerbaijan during trilateral meetings held in Brussels on May 14 and July 15, 2023:
- “Armenia and Azerbaijan recognize each other’s territorial integrity with the understanding that Armenia’s territory is 29․800 square kilometers and Azerbaijan’s territory is 86,600 square kilometers.
- The 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration is the political basis for the delimitation of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In fact, there is also an understanding that the delimitation should utilize the 1974-1990 maps of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union. It is also agreed that Armenia and Azerbaijan have no territorial claims against each other and undertake not to make such claims in the future.
- Regional transport should be unblocked on the basis of sovereignty, jurisdiction, reciprocity and equality of the countries.”
The Prime Minister believes that the peace agenda should correspond to the system of values and interests of the countries as much as possible. He declares the Republic of Armenia itself and its economic development to be the priority.
“Promises are attributed to Armenia and to me personally.”
Talking about the unblocking of regional transport, Pashinyan announced that some promises that he had not made had been attributed to him. He stated that all of Armenia’s promises are reflected in the Crossroads of Peace project, and the promises received by Armenia are also recorded there.
“We are ready to start the realization of this project a minute earlier and count on the support of the regional countries and the international community.”
“We’re not going to attack anyone”
According to the 2024 budget, Armenia’s defense spending will more than double compared to 2018. He stated that this means preparing not for war, but for peace, as the most important guarantee of peace and stability is the feeling of security of the country’s residents.
“I am sure all neighboring countries are convinced that we are not going to attack anyone.”
The prime minister does not consider “the concerns expressed about reforming Armenia’s armed forces and acquiring weapons” to be “sincere. He says the reform of the Armed Forces is the duty of every sovereign state, and that over the last 10 years Azerbaijan’s defense expenditures have exceeded Armenia’s expenditures three times.
The government prioritizes the state interests of Armenia
As the Prime Minister said, Armenia faces the task of reevaluating “the functional significance of the state and statehood”. He believes that the outcome should be the following conclusion:
“Armenia is not a springboard or an outpost for the realization of plans outside its borders, developed outside its borders, but a means of ensuring the security, well-being, freedom and happiness of its own citizens.”
The state, in his opinion, should be guided by the logic of realizing these goals.
“Economic development is the state interest of the Republic of Armenia, and all policies and concepts should be evaluated by how well they fulfill this interest,.”
Pashinyan on Armenia’s security