The Goris-Kapan road

YEREVAN (, JAM News) — Since the end of the war over Karabakh (Artsakh) and the peace agreement signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, ceding most of Karabakh to Azerbaijan, the latter is laying claims on — and winning — more land in the province of Syunik in Armenia.

One of the villages that has lost 12 homes to Azerbaijan is Shurnukh.

Recently, the Shurnukh mayor said crossing one street can be problematic as part of the village will be ceded to Azerbaijan

“Crossing a street in Shurnukh village of Armenia’s southern Syunik province will become problematic from tomorrow,” village mayor Hakob Arshakyan told the residents, as the village was divided into two parts with the eastern part transferred to Azerbaijan based on demarcation process carried out via GPS.  Arshakyan presented the situation to the villagers live on Facebook.

“Crossing a street will be problematic from tomorrow. You will not be able to go after the herd if it crosses the Azerbaijani side in the eastern part of the village,” Arshakyan said.

To note, according to the demarcation, some 12 houses of the village are to be ceded to Azerbaijan which gave a deadline to locals of January 5 to vacate their houses and the property.

Syunik in red in map of Armenia

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In Arshakyan’s words, in case of controversy, a responsible person captain Aram Ohanyan and the Russian border guards are the ones to reach and solve the matter.

Asked about the roadway connecting Goris to Kapan, Ohanyan said there would be no issue with the operation of the roadway which will be controlled by the local forces and the Russian guards.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is carrying out “withdrawal of troops from Artsakh”, political scientist Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan warned.

“While we are discussing which country Shurnukh was part of during the Soviet period, Nikol the traitor is withdrawing troops from Artsakh. Soldiers are transferred to Armenia under the pretext of the rotation of troops, afterwards they announce that the Azerbaijanis do not allow the servicemen to return to their positions to carry out their service. And this is a constantly repeated process,” he wrote on Facebook on Monday, January 4.

“I am simply amazed at the level of our people’s indifference towards the homeland. Let’s put aside the broad masses of the pubic, what about the intelligentsia? What about the political, military and religious leaders?

“So, let me tell you that after Shurnukh, the village of Tigranashen (Kyark) in Ararat Province is to be handed over to the enemy [Azerbaijan]. Just don’t ask how I found out about it. The answer can be found on the internet. Search for and read the statement released by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) a month and a half ago, which clearly states that in addition to Yeraskh, a checkpoint will be set up in the village of Paruyr Sevak. Then find Paruyr Sevak village on the map and everything will become clear. Do I have to say what is next?

According to the trilateral agreement signed after 44 days of the war in Karabakh, the Zangelan region was transferred to Azerbaijan. It borders on the Syunik region of Armenia and is now undergoing a process of demarcation along the administrative borders of the Soviet era.

As a result, the road between the cities of Goris and Kapan of the Syunik region crosses the Azerbaijani territory in several places. Recently, incidents have often occurred here due to the fact that the border passes through the middle of some state objects of Armenia and private houses.

The situation in the region is extremely tense. The residents of Syunik believe that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan “voluntarily transferred the territory of Karabakh to Azerbaijan” and now he is “giving away the lands of Armenia.” On December 21, people even blocked the roads and did not allow the prime minister to enter the region.

In the morning, at a government meeting, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke about the process of defining borders in Syunik. He warned that painful situations could arise in the villages of Shurnukh and Vorotan:

“But I want to assure that in all those cases when questions arise with the protection of the interests of the residents of Armenia, the government will provide full compensation – the interests of our citizens will be protected.”

Nikol Pashinyan is “quietly” fulfilling hidden promises that he made to the Azerbaijani side, analyst Karen Bekaryan said. In his opinion, there is no other explanation for the fact that the same is happening with the borders of Armenia as with the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, that is, they are voluntarily given to Azerbaijan:

“The only logic is that he [Pashinyan] has assumed additional obligations to Aliyev, which are now being silently fulfilled without presenting any document to the people.”

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