The situation is critical, but we Armenians will not give up, Ruben Vardanyan tells Tempi

The situation is really critical, but we Armenians are not giving up, we will continue to defend our right to live in our land, Artsakh’s State Minister Ruben Vardanyan said in an interview with Italian Tempi.

For two weeks, 120,000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh have been cut off from the world following the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the only road linking Artsakh to Armenia and the outside world, by alleged “environmental” protesters” of Azerbaijan. Food, petrol and medicines are scarce and there is a risk of humanitarian catastrophe.

“What is happening is unacceptable and violates the truce agreement of November 2020,” Ruben Vardanyan said.

“We are completely cut off from the outside world and already have many humanitarian problems. In such a situation, the need for an air bridge becomes very important,” said Vardanyan, emphasizing that the problem of the blockade of Artsakh was discussed in the UN Security Council and the ECHR, and the situation was considered unacceptable by the international community, in general.

Speaking about Azerbaijan’s false environmental claims, the State Minister said. “They are not environmentalists at all, they are representatives of Azerbaijan’s special services. Highlighting environmental issues, we have suggested that Azerbaijan form an international commission and verify whether there is any reported environmental damage. But they did not agree. What happens is carefully planned. The intention of Azerbaijanis is political, not environmental, they want to put pressure on the people of Artsakh to leave their land.”

Responding to the question about the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Vardanyan said: “Armenians and Azerbaijanis are different nations, have different culture, different values, but they should find a way to live as neighbors in the same region, without going to war against each other. Achieving a peace agreement is difficult, but possible. It is important for Azerbaijan to recognize Artsakh. I am sure that if we start from this point, the solution will be found.”

Asked about Azerbaijan targeting him, Ruben Vardanyan said that “Azerbaijan is doing this because I can make the voice of the people of Artsakh more audible, and this is a problem for Baku. Our government needs experienced leaders, Artsakh should become more open and competitive. I am sure that I can use my skills to serve my nation, and this is the reason for targeting Azerbaijan.”

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