Armenian PM responds to Aliyev’s “corridor” narrative

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in the jubilee 30th session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow. The Presidents of the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan also took part in the narrow-format session of the event.

The President of Azerbaijan took part in the extended-format session as a guest, and the leaders of the EAEU observer countries – Uzbekistan, Cuba, as well as the President of Tajikistan as a guest, participated remotely.

In his speech, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev used the wording “Zangezur Corridor”, to which Prime Minister Pashinyan responded. “In his speech, the president of Azerbaijan used an expression that has been used in recent years as a title for making territorial claims against Armenia. I would like to note that this is used in the framework of the implementation of point 9 of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020.

I would like to emphasize that the Declaration mentions only one corridor, and it is the Lachin corridor, which was supposed to be under the control of Russian peacekeepers, but, unfortunately, is illegally blocked by Azerbaijan. On the other hand, I want to confirm the readiness of the Republic of Armenia to unblock all transport and economic connections and communications in the region that pass through the territory of the Republic of Armenia – we call it the “Armenian Crossroads” and we are ready to open regional communications within the framework of the sovereignty and jurisdiction of those countries through which they pass. I mean the transport and economic communications mentioned in point 9 of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020 and the trilateral statement of January 11, 2021.”

Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized that those who are familiar with the text of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020, know that there is only one use of the word “corridor” in it. “And in this context, this word has a special meaning, and it is the Lachin Corridor, which, I repeat, according to the trilateral declaration, should be under the control of the Russian Federation and provide a connection between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. But, unfortunately, in the presence of Russian peacekeepers, Azerbaijan illegally closed this corridor. On the other hand, I would like to confirm that Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed on mutual recognition of each other’s territorial integrity. And on this basis, yes, it can be said that we are going quite well in the direction of normalizing our relations.

In this context, I would also like to mention a very important issue, the issue of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh within the framework of the international mechanism. I hope that soon a normal constructive dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert will begin,” said the Prime Minister.

Referring to Aliyev’s statement that Russia also supports the idea of Zangezur Corridor, Nikol Pashinyan noted: “It is very interesting to know that Russia supports the project you mentioned. To be honest, this is the first time I have heard about it.

I know that Russia supports the opening of all transport and economic communications in our region. You said “Lachin road”, but according to our trilateral declaration, “Lachin road” does not exist, there is a corridor which, according to the trilateral declaration signed by three of us, should be under the control of Russian peacekeeping forces, that is, no one else should exercise any control of this corridor.

And what is happening there is a direct violation of the trilateral declaration. And you said that the corridor is open, but we don’t see it, we don’t think so. Therefore, we consider it important that an international fact-finding mission be sent to both the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno Karabakh to assess the humanitarian situation in Nagorno Karabakh.

And I must say that, unfortunately, we have a humanitarian crisis there since December, because due to the closure of the Lachin corridor, obstacles are created for the supply of food and other necessities. And this is a very serious situation. Gas and electricity have also been blocked by Azerbaijan. I mean the gas and electricity going to Nagorno Karabakh. And, Vladimir Vladimirovich, you know about it very well, because we have talked about this many times.”

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