Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressing members of the Armenian community in Munich on February 19

Pashinyan Calls out Russia, Azerbaijan at Munich Press Conference


MUNICH (Armenpress) — On February 19, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took part in a press conference with members of the local Armenian community after participating in the Munich Security Conference. He addressed a variety of issues, including Russian inaction during the Karabakh war, Azerbaijani aggression and the state of the Armenian refugees fleeing their homes in Karabakh (Artsakh).

He blamed the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh for failing to protect the Armenians there.

“Article 9 of the 9 November 2020 trilateral statement doesn’t contain anything on any corridor through Armenia, it’s impossible to find it,” Pashinyan said, speaking about the Azeri narrative on the so-called Zangezur corridor and the 2020 ceasefire agreement. “There is nothing about some other country controlling any territory of Armenia. It is about the regional connections. You are aware that we developed and proposed the Crossroads of Peace project in order to fully present our stance. That’s our vision.”

Speaking about dangers, he said that the narrative used by Azeri leader Ilham Aliyev is a signal on present dangers.

“How should we withstand these dangers? First of all this should be managed in our international relations. What’s one of the reasons behind creating the Crossroads of Peace project? Azerbaijan was trying to create an impression that we don’t want to provide a road to anyone. What’s being talked about is that Russia is supposed to control something in our territory, and there’s no such thing in article 9, not to mention all the remaining articles of the trilateral statement which were basically torn and thrown away by Azerbaijan and Russia. Referring to article 9 is no longer relevant because both Russia and Azerbaijan have completely violated their obligations under the remaining articles, no Armenians are left in Nagorno-Karabakh today. And this is also the responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh, the goal of which was supposed to be the protection of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Pashinyan said.

He noted that his government wouldn’t want to see the forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh leave Armenia in case they don’t have a desire or opportunity to return to their homes.

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Pashinyan has also unveiled a new housing program for the forcibly displaced persons.

More than 100,000 forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh found shelter in Armenia after the September 2023 Azeri attack.

He was asked on the government’s plans regarding the refugees, and whether the forcibly displaced persons would return to Nagorno-Karabakh or stay in Armenia.

“Our vision is as follows: if they don’t have a realistic opportunity to return to Nagorno-Karabakh, it is our policy to do everything for them to stay in Armenia. Our Western, foreign partners strongly encourage the fact that the government of Armenia was able to take in over one hundred thousand people within a week, and take them in without refugee camps. Secondly, we can say that most of the children now go to school. As of December 31, 2023, 10,000 forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh had already found employment in Armenia. This is good, but this isn’t all, because this is perhaps thirty percent of the total number of employable people [displaced from NK]. All pensioners receive their pensions, and we are planning to launch a housing program soon, and we’ve made two important conclusions during its debates: first, this project must be accessible also for the citizens of Armenia, second, our brothers and sisters who were forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh, who would want to use this program, would have to obtain citizenship of Armenia [as a mandatory requirement of the program],” Pashinyan said.

He also addressed Russia’s war on Ukraine, stressing Armenia is not Russia’s ally in the conflict.

“The situation is difficult, and so is our stance,” Pashinyan said.

He added that the Alma-Ata Declaration is the basis for recognition of the independence and territorial integrity of the republics that gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“We recognize the Alma-Ata Declaration, but it’s not just for us. Thirteen Soviet republics have acknowledged the Alma-Ata Declaration, including Russia and Ukraine. By the way, they are the ones who initiated it, because Russia, Ukraine and Belarus decided with the Belovezha Accords that the Soviet Union no longer exists, and that they become independent states and recognize each other’s borders. Our perception in the matter of Ukraine is that the basis for recognizing the independence and territorial integrity of the republics is the Alma-Ata Declaration. In our logic, the same should apply in case of Ukraine, because that document pertains to us all. And if we tear it down, then we tear everything down. I’ve said this for a long time: Armenia is not Russia’s ally in the matter of Ukraine, and this is our sincere stance. I said this for the first time two years ago, and we very much regret that we can’t have any impact on that situation. The Ukrainian people are a friendly people to us,” Pashinyan said.


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