Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave an interview to Corriere della Sera, one of the largest Italian newspapers. Below is an article by Corriere della Sera based on Prime Minister Pashinyan’s interview.
“Pashinyan points out: “Erdogan is arming Azerbaijanis because he wants another genocide.” Then he continues: “He sent Syrian jihadists here to fight: we have evidence.”
“Turks in Vienna? It can happen again.” While the Moscow-brokered truce with Azerbaijan is marking time with “loud noise,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan uses hyperbole, but immediately gets to the point.
The former journalist and charismatic opposition figure was elected prime minister two years ago after street protests. Pashinyan is just back from the frontline, where he visited the Armenian soldiers.
Fighting on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan has not stopped since September 27, with air-raid sirens constantly sounding in the skies of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. A very fragile ceasefire agreement was reached a week ago, but it did not stop shelling, bombings and drones, nor did it curb the bellicose rhetoric. The Armenian side has suffered more than 660 casualties among both the military and civilians.
Corriere della Sera: Baku accuses you of attacking Ganja again, you accuse Azerbaijanis of shelling Stepanakert and nearby villages. Both sides keep talking about crimes against humanity. Where is the truth?
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Turkey is pushing ahead with the same strategy in the South Caucasus as in the Mediterranean against Greece and Cyprus or in Libya, Syria and Iraq. This is an expansionary policy. In the midst of the ceasefire talks, Turkish President Erdogan said he did not want Azerbaijan to halt hostilities. This conflict would not have started without Turkey’s direct intervention. It was Turkey that prompted Azerbaijan to attack Artsakh. Turkish troops are attending the attacks. But not only that. Azerbaijanis uses jihadist militants brought in from Syria. These are terrorists sent by the Turks.
Corriere della Sera: Do you have any evidence of the use of such fighters?
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Yes, we have propaganda videos of jihadists geolocated at the site of hostilities. There are also dead bodies of some of them. There is no doubt about that. All evidence has already been published. The videos were processed and analyzed mediating special software and the relevant specialists found out where they had been filmed. It has been established that they were transferred to the frontline during the fighting. The Syrian terrorists themselves shot those videos, after which they posted them on the Internet.
This evidence is officially recognized by Russia, France and other countries. And the goal is clear: Turks want another genocide of the Armenian people. I ask myself and the international community: What kind of ceasefire can we sign with these terrorists? We came under attack, and we must defend ourselves like any people threatened with extermination.
Corriere della Sera: What steps should the European Union take to end the conflict?
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: There is only one way to end the hostilities: international recognition of Artsakh based on the principle of “remedial secession.” There is no other option. Otherwise, all Armenians in the territories controlled by Azerbaijan will undergo ethnic cleansing just because the Armenians are the last obstacle for the Turks on their path of expansion to the north, east and south.
Corriere della Sera: A group of Italian intellectuals, athletes and politicians signed a declaration of solidarity with Armenia. Is that enough?
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: Several foreign journalists came here, but we did not see representatives of foreign diplomatic missions. I expect Italy to acknowledge that Turkey has transferred mercenaries and troops to Azerbaijan. But not only that. The population of Nagorno-Karabakh is facing a grave humanitarian crisis, which the international community and Italy should take into consideration, because not a single Armenian will be saved, if the Azerbaijani troops return to the region.”