Azerbaijan’s actions in Syunik an encroachment on sovereign territory of Armenia: Nikol Pashinyan chairs meeting of Security Council

The situation in the Sev Lich (Black Lake) area in Syunik was discussed at a special meeting of the Security Council chaired by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

This morning, the Azerbaijani armed forces crossed the state border of the Republic of Armenia in that area, advanced 3.5 km into the territory of Armenia and actually tried to surround the lake, the acting Prime Minister said.

“Of course, these actions are intolerable for the Republic of Armenia, because it is an encroachment on the sovereign territory of the country. The issue of why such an action became possible at all is a different subject, but it should be noted that this is a subversive penetration attempt,” Pashinyan noted.

He said the Armenian Armed Forces have been responding to the developments since early morning, necessary tactical moves and other actions have been carried out. “The actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces were not accompanied by use of firearms or any other weapon, and they are trying to justify their actions by some maps, which we deem imaginary and false, because at our disposal we have a map approved between Soviet Armenia and Soviet Azerbaijan, and confirmed by the Central Government, which clearly shows where the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan passes.”

The acting PM stressed that the current situation is unacceptable, but added that given the state of affairs, the primary plan is to resolve this issue through negotiations and diplomacy. “But this is one of the options,” he continued.

“I want us to make it clear that there is no way we can tolerate and come to terms with the situation; today we have to discuss the current situation and our future plans, possible scenarios, the existing internal interconnections between those scenarios. I consider it necessary to emphasize that, unfortunately, the situation also becomes a cause of internal political speculations. I would like to reiterate that no attempt should be made to use the external security situation for domestic political purposes, as this is a matter of national security,” Pashinyan stated.

He once again emphasized that the reports on shootings, hostilities and casualties have nothing to do with reality, but added that the situation is at least near-critical, if not critical. “And if it were not so, we would not have convened a meeting of the Security Council. In any case, in this situation we need to remain calm. On the other hand, we need to be consistent in terms of protecting our state and national interests. We also need to decuss the future steps and tools.”

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