Armenian PM on calls for resignation, clashes in Karabakh, prisoner exchange
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan released a public address earlier today, during which he touched on calls for his resignation, recent clashes in Karabakh, the role of the Russian peacekeeping mission and the exchange of prisoners.
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Demands for Pashinyna’s resignation
“I clearly said that I can refuse the status granted to me by the people only on the basis of reliable results of the will of the people. As long as there is no such expression of will, I will continue to perform the functions of the prime minister,” PM Nikol Pashinyan said.
He stressed that today the main task is to stabilize the situation in the country.
The prime minister also touched upon another rumor that was actively spreading:
“For about a month now, false rumors have been circulating that my children and my family members have left Armenia. Over the past months, especially from the very first day of the outbreak of the war, not one of my family members has left Armenia and is not going to do so.”
Pashinyan said that recently, in addition to ensuring border security, the government has faced information security problems, ‘a real process of information terrorism has begun against Armenia and the people of Armenia’. According to him, all sorts of false information is being spread, the purpose of which is to cause panic, and ‘we cannot rule out a connection with foreign special services.”
In this regard, the Armenian prime minister has set the government the task of transmitting official information more intensively and covering the ongoing processes faster.
Aggravation of the situation in Karabakh
Pashinyan said that the aggravation of the situation in the Hadrut region of Karabakh since December 11 was the first serious test for the Russian side, that is, the peacekeeping contingent located in the conflict zone.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry said Azerbaijani forces attacked two villages, “violating the ceasefire […], taking advantage of the fact that peacekeeping forces are not deployed in this part of the Artsakh Republic.”
“Of course, the question of why the peacekeepers have not yet deployed their observation posts near these villages deserves a separate discussion. But now it is important that they are already there,” Pashinyan said.
On the state borders of Armenia
Pashinyan also commented on the situation around the village of Agarak in the Syunik region of Armenia, since over the weekend the country was actively discussing the aggravation of the border with Azerbaijan in this section.
Armenian media reported that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces opened fire in the direction of Armenian posts near Agarak and demanded to leave these positions. The Governor of Syunik, Melikset Poghosyan, immediately reported that there had been no shelling, but the Azerbaijanis, using loudspeakers from their trenches, really demanded to retreat.
The prime minister explained that the problem is related to the regions of Kovsakan (Azerbaijani name Zangelan) and Sanasar (Azerbaijani name Kubatlu) in Karabakh, which border on the Syunik region of Armenia. As a result of military actions in Karabakh, they came under the control of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. Now on this site it is necessary to carry out delimitation and demarcation of borders.
It is with this, according to the prime minister, that the activity of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces is connected. Active negotiations are underway on this topic, because in the trilateral statement on Karabakh on November 9, as Pashinyan noted, the issue of Kovsakan and Sanasar was not spelled out:
“But I want to stress again that at no stage of the implementation of the agreements on Karabakh will the borders of Armenia be violated. The principle of inviolability of borders has never been and is not being questioned. “
On the return of prisoners
Prime Minister Pashinyan said that the return of a group of prisoners is expected very soon, “whose capture has been officially confirmed by Azerbaijan and the Red Cross.”
After that, the prime minister promises to focus on the search for the missing, who could also be captured.
The search for the dead and the process of identifying already discovered bodies is also continuing. According to Pashinyan, it will not be possible to complete this process by the end of the year.
On December 19, on the fortieth day after the end of the war, a three-day mourning period will be declared in Armenia for those who died in the war. A memorial procession will take place in Yerevan from Republic Square to the Yerablur military pantheon.