By Anush Mkrtchian, Ruzanna Stepanian
YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of planning “genocide” in Nagorno-Karabakh and urged Russian peacekeepers to restore its sole transport link with Armenia again blocked on Monday.
Pashinyan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone as a large group of Azerbaijanis blocked the road connecting Karabakh to Armenia to demand that government officials from Baku be allowed to inspect two gold mines in Karabakh.
The authorities in Stepanakert said the demands run counter to the terms of a Russian-brokered agreement that stopped the 2020 war and are just an excuse for intimidating Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian population. Arayik Harutyunyan, the Karabakh president, charged that “ethnic cleansing” is the ultimate goal of this policy.
An Armenian government statement said that Putin and Pashinyan discussed ways of “resolving the situation in the Lachin corridor.”
“Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized the importance of ensuring uninterrupted communication between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and consistent steps by the Russian peacekeeping mission in that direction,” read the statement.