On March 6, President of the Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan convened an extended meeting of the Security Council with the participation of the political forces of the National Assembly and heads of regional administrations.
Before starting the meeting, the attendees observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of the policemen of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Artsakh Republic who died as a result of the Azerbaijani sabotage on March 5, after which President Harutyunyan made a statement.
According to the Head of the State, Artsakh officials met with the Azerbaijani side on February 24 with the mediation and presence of the command staff of the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in Artsakh in order to discuss the humanitarian and infrastructural issues arising from the situation. An agreement was reached regarding the second meeting, which took place on March 1 under the leadership of Security Council Secretary Samvel Shahramanyan. Four issues were on the agenda of the meetings: unblocking of the Lachin Corridor, restoration of electricity supply from the Republic of Armenia to Artsakh, uninterrupted supply of natural gas, and re-exploitation of the Kashen mine.
“During the second meeting, the representative of Azerbaijan attempted to discuss political topics using the word “integration”, but Mr. Shahramanyan prevented that, saying that if they should discuss political issues, it should be the topic of recognition of the independence of Artsakh by Azerbaijan. He added that they are not authorized to discuss political issues and cannot discuss such issues at this meeting,” Harutyunyan noted.
According to the President, after that, the Azerbaijani side conveyed through its channels that either we accept the integration policy, or there will be no solution to the existing problems, on the contrary, there will be tougher and sharper steps.
“We did not accept, we do not accept, and today I want to state again that it is not only a decision of the Security Council, but the overwhelming majority of our people accept that we will not deviate from our right to independence and self-determination. And that means that in the near future we will have various developments, situations that we have to face. We choose to either continue the struggle that we have embarked on, or if there are such moods in the public that we should accept the proposal presented by Azerbaijan, then they have the opportunity to speak up within the scope of their civil rights and say that the path we have chosen is wrong, try to shape those moods, and form a new government in the country. But since we have chosen the path of struggle, please first of all respect our decision and do not react to any such phenomena and do not attach any internal political implications,” said the President.
Touching upon the tragic case of the killing of police officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Artsakh Republic as a result of an Azerbaijani sabotage on March 5, the President of the Republic noted that, unfortunately, such provocations are not excluded in the near future.
“We must realize the fact that we have to struggle for a long time and within the framework of that struggle there will be such situations, and we should take preventive measures. I have discussed our problems with the State Minister and today I want to instruct the Government by the decision of the Security Council to develop a program in the directions of food security and energy security, as we have to calculate all scenarios,” said Arayik Harutyunyan. At the meeting of the Security Council, Defense Minister Kamo Vardanyan delivered a report on the operational situation. Subsequently, there was an exchange of ideas, and a number of decisions were made as per the agenda.