STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL) — A senior Nagorno-Karabakh official was sacked on Monday, April 19, hours after criticizing Armenian authorities’ efforts to secure the release of Armenian soldiers and civilians remaining in Azerbaijani captivity.
Boris Avagyan, a deputy chief of Karabakh’s State Emergencies Service, effectively blamed pro-government members of Armenia’s parliament for Azerbaijan’s continuing refusal to free them when he spoke at a public discussion organized in Yerevan by other lawmakers.
Avagyan also said he does not know which officials represent Armenia in negotiations on the fate of more than 100 Armenian prisoners believed to be held by Baku.
“If you, deputies of Armenia’s National Assembly, do not know that person, how can I, the holder of a state post in the Republic of Artsakh, know that person?” he asked.
Karen Sargsyan, the Karabakh interior minister, fired Avagyan in a move announced later in the day.
A statement released by the State Emergencies Service said Avagyan was not authorized to comment on “topics beyond the scope of his powers” and that most of his comments “do not correspond to reality.”