STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL) — Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership on Thursday, April 14, criticized Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and warned him against helping Azerbaijan regain control over the Armenian-populated territory.
“Any attempt to incorporate Artsakh into Azerbaijan would lead to bloodshed and the destruction of Artsakh,” said Davit Babayan, the Karabakh foreign minister. “And after the destruction of Artsakh there would be no Republic of Armenia.”
Pashinyan said on a speech to parliament on the previous day that the international community is pressing Armenia to “’Lower your bar a bit on the question of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status and we will ensure a great international consolidation around Armenia and Artsakh.’ Or else, says the international community, please do not pin your hopes on us. Not because we do not want to help you but because we cannot help you,” he said in an hour-long speech. (Read excerpts of speech inside.)
“Today the international community is clearly telling us that being the only country in the world that does not bilaterally recognize the territorial integrity to Turkey ally Azerbaijan is very dangerous for not only Artsakh (Karabakh) but also Armenia,” Pashinyan said.
He signaled Yerevan’s intention to make such concessions to Baku, fueling more opposition objections that he has agreed to Azerbaijani control over Karabakh.
Pashinyan said he is therefore keen to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan “as soon as possible.” He reiterated that Baku’s proposals regarding such an accord, including a mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity, are acceptable to Yerevan. He again stated that a “clarification of the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh” must also be on the agenda of upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani talks on the treaty.