Before discussing the issues on the agenda, the Head of the Government spoke about the artillery and drone strikes by the Azerbaijani armed forces on the Martuni and Martakert positions of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army on June 27, as a result of which four servicemen were killed, and also presented details about the resolution adopted by the PACE on Azerbaijan’s actions.
In his speech, Nikol Pashinyan, in particular, noted:
“Dear participants of the Cabinet meeting,
In the conditions of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh caused by the closure of the Lachin Corridor, on June 27, the armed forces of Azerbaijan launched artillery and drone strikes in the direction of the Martuni and Martakert positions of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, as a result of which four soldiers of the Defense Army were killed.
Expressing my condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims, I must emphasize that this military provocation had been prepared for a long time by information attacks of Azerbaijan, as if the Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army was violating the ceasefire regime in different parts of the contact line. The fictitiousness of Azerbaijani media publications has been consistently demonstrated by the authorities of Nagorno Karabakh, under the conditions of which it becomes obvious that Azerbaijan is pursuing a consistent policy of escalating the situation and depopulating Nagorno Karabakh. That is, essentially, the policy we have been warning about for a long time.
Azerbaijan’s actions are more and more visibly perceived just like that by the international community as well, the latest proof of which is the resolution 2256 adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last week. In point 15 of that resolution, PACE records: “The Assembly is extremely concerned about the hostile and threatening rhetoric against Armenians at the highest levels of Azerbaijan’s leadership and calls on Azerbaijan to reject such rhetoric and take steps to combat both hate speech, including by public and high-ranking officials, and hate crimes.”
In point 8 of the same resolution, the Assembly records: “The current unstable situation may lead to the fact that the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh will have to leave their homes and communities. In this context, the Assembly urgently calls to resolve the issues of rights and security of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh through dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert, as well as through neutral international involvement in any peace mechanism.
The Assembly emphasized that the blocking of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan is a violation of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020, noted the fact of the blocking of natural gas and electricity supplies to Nagorno Karabakh, called on Azerbaijan to immediately restore these supplies and fulfill the ruling of the International Court of Justice on unblocking the Lachin Corridor.
It is important to note that in the recommendation of the PACE resolution, the same body assesses the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of the closure of the Lachin Corridor as a humanitarian and human rights crisis, and draws the attention of the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe to this crisis, highlighting the need to organize a fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor as soon as possible.
The resolution adopted in the PACE is an important document in terms of increasing international attention to the humanitarian crisis created in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia will be consistent in terms of keeping the provisions of the resolution on the agenda of the Committee of Ministers, that is, the executive body of the Council of Europe.
Returning to the provocation of June 27, I must emphasize that its purpose is to neutralize efforts to establish peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan and to address the rights and security issues of the people of Nagorno Karabakh.
These days, the delegation of Armenia led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs continues negotiations in Washington with the delegation of Azerbaijan to agree on the text of the peace treaty.
There is no alternative to peace in our region, and our government, facing all difficulties and complications, will continue the political path of peace. Thank you.”