Azerbaijan’s provocations an attempt to disrupt the peace agenda, Armenian PM says

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says Azerbaijan’s provocations, including the recent cut of gas supply to Artsakh, are aimed at disrupting the peace agenda.

Speaking at a government sitting today he noted that for three days residents of Artsakh have been deprived of gas supply, and this has taken place as a result of Azerbaijan’s intervention.

He reminded that on March 7 the pipeline supplying gas to Artsakh had been blown up in Azerbaijan-controlled territory, and Baku was preventing the repair works citing different reasons.

“Eventually Azerbaijan repaired the gas pipeline itself. As a result, according to our information, a valve was installed on pipeline, and on March 21, four days after restoring the gas supply, Azerbaijan simply cut off the supply without blasting the pipeline, thus proving that it was behind the March 7 blast,” the Prime Minister said.

He drew special attention to the fact that both cuts took place under unprecedented weather conditions, with temperatures dropping to record low and the snow cover reaching 1 meter.

“Under these conditions Artsakh was deliberately derived of gas supply vital for heating the schools, kindergartens and hospitals. This is enough to understand that as a result of Azerbaijan’s actions Artsakh is on the edge of a humanitarian crisis. I have no doubt that the heroic people of Artsakh will endure this trial, but we must say that with its actions Azerbaijan is also doing a favor to the people of Artsakh, because this gas-related episode is a very precise and brief description of the Artsakh issue for the international community,” the Prime Minister said.

He stressed that due to this episode the international community can understand the essence of the Artsakh issue without browsing through hundreds of pages and studying historical nuances.

“This indisputably demonstrates Azerbaijan’s policy towards Armenians of Artsakh, i.e. make it impossible for them to live in own homelend.,” he added.

PM Pashinyan said for 1.5 years Azerbaijan has been claiming a “triumphant victory” in the 44-day war, but everything shows that Azerbaijan sees the fact that about 117 000 Armenians live in Nagorno Karabakh today, despite all sufferings, as its biggest defeat and pursues the goal of completing the policy of ethnic cleansing in Artsakh.

The Prime Minister noted that there is no alternative to opening an era of peace in the region, while “with these actions and various provocations, Azerbaijan is trying divert us from the peace agenda, delegitimize this agenda to incite new escalations and wars in the region.”

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