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Yerevan and Moscow to discuss deployment of Russian border guards along Armenian-Azerbaijani border – Pashinyan

Yerevan and Moscow will discuss the issue of deployment of Russian border guards all along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the government sitting today.

According to him, this will allow to carry out the delimitation and demarcation works without the risk of military escalation.

Pashinyan noted that under the mandate granted by the people the government is going to take all necessary measures to ensure security, stability and peace in the region.

The acting PM noted that with its actions Azerbaijan is attempting to disrupt any opportunity for dialogue, and keeps discrediting the November 9th and January 11th trilateral statements with its rhetoric and actions.

“In particular, irrespective of point 8 of the November 9th statement, Azerbaijan continues the scam trials of Armenian captives, sentencing them to long-term imprisonment,” the acting PM said. He drew attention to the fact that most of them were taken captive after November 9 in the zones of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers.

“If we combine this fact with the large-scale anti-propaganda Azerbaijan has been carrying out against the Russian peacekeepers and the fact that Azerbaijan is yet to sign the peacekeepers’ mandate, it becomes apparent that this is a series of actions against peacekeepers, i.e. peace and stability in Nagorno Karabakh,” Pashinyan stated.

Below are Nikol Pashinyan’s full remarks:

Dear colleagues,
Dear compatriots,

Despite the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the international community, the situation is not stabilizing along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Azerbaijan continues to use aggressive rhetoric and actions, while leaving all the proposals of the international community for a long-term political settlement of the situation unanswered. As such, I would like to reiterate the statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, for example, of April 13, in which they called on the parties to resume high-level political dialogue under the auspices of the Co-Chairs at the earliest opportunity. I would like to remind that so far Azerbaijan has not responded to this call, while Armenia has repeatedly stressed its readiness to start the negotiation process at any time in the proposed format.

We have also expressed our readiness to engage in dialogue on issues beyond the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. Nevertheless, with all its actions, Azerbaijan is trying to block any opportunity for dialogue by discrediting the November 9 and January 11 trilateral statements through rhetoric and actions.

In particular, despite the 8th point of the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, the scam trials of Armenian prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees continue in Azerbaijan, as a result of which they are sentenced to many years of imprisonment. Of particular importance is the fact that almost all recent convicts were taken captive after November 9 in the area of ​​responsibility of peacekeepers. If we compare this fact with Azerbaijan’s large-scale propaganda against the peacekeepers, with the fact that Azerbaijan is yet to sign the mandate of peacekeepers, it becomes obvious that this is a series of actions against peacekeepers, i.e. stability and peace in Nagorno Karabakh.

Azerbaijan is also taking consistent actions to discredit the opening of regional communications. Despite the fact that neither the 9th point of the November 9 statement, nor the January 11 statement includes any expression or definition of a “corridor”, no specific routes are mentioned, Azerbaijan continues to raise the issue of a corridor, pointing to specific routes and directions.

I have said on many occasions that Armenia has not discussed, does not discuss and will not discuss any issue within the “corridor logic.”

It is unequivocal for us that all transport and economic communications in the region must be opened, just as Armenia must have communication through Azerbaijan, including to Russia, Central Asia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azerbaijan must have communication through Armenia, including to Nakhijevan, Georgia and Iran.

To implement this program, customs checkpoints will be set up at the relevant border points, which will be crossed from both sides in accordance with internationally accepted norms, for example, in line with the customs, border and other regulations adopted in the CIS.

Another area where Azerbaijan’s actions are clearly destructive and discrediting is the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan not only continue to stay illegally in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, including the Sotk-Khoznavar section, but also continue to take provocative actions, thus trying to discredit the Collective Security Treaty system. In parallel with the provocative actions aimed at implementing this program, Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of alleged provocations.

As a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which will assume the chairmanship of the organization from September this year, Armenia understands its responsibility not to pose a security threat to the CSTO, not to involve allied countries in hostilities. And I officially rule out any provocative action by the Armenian Armed Forces. At the same time, I think that one of the possible ways to find out the truth about our mutual accusations is the deployment of a CSTO monitoring mission along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which is envisaged by the CSTO regulations. In the event of impossibility of carrying out such a mission within the CSTO, there may be other internationally acceptable formats for us, including the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing.

Dear colleagues,
Dear compatriots,

I would like to emphasize again that Azerbaijan’s attempts to show that Armenia is against the process of delimitation and demarcation of borders, have nothing to do with reality. On the contrary, we are in favor, moreover, we have received a mandate from our own people to start such a process, to establish stability and peace in the region.

At the May 27 meeting of the Security Council, I voiced our views on the launch of demarcation and delimitation work. Those are as follows: the withdrawal of both Armenian and Azerbaijani troops from the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the Sotk-Khoznavar section, the deployment of Russian border guards’ bases along the border, the monitoring of the border, and the start of demarcation work, to which we have repeatedly expressed our commitment.

Given the current situation, I think it makes sense to consider the deployment of Russian border guards’ bases along the entire Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which will allow demarcation and delimitation work to be carried out without the risk of military clashes. In any case, we are going to discuss this topic with our Russian counterparts.

Dear Colleagues,
Dear compatriots,

Under the mandate granted by the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, our government is going to take all necessary measures to ensure the security, peace and stability of our region. In carrying out these processes, our government will act in accordance with the mandate received from the citizens of the Republic of Armenia.

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