YEREVAN. – As the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, I take full responsibility for the situation on the ground, Nikol Pashinyan stated at Thursday’s Cabinet session of the government.
"I realize my responsibility not only for what happened recently, but also for the further development of events," he said.
According to him, ensuring internal and external stability and the implementation of the "roadmap" published by him on November 18 is an exceptional necessity and priority, and all efforts should be focused on resolving this issue.
"Two programs have already been adopted for the compatriots of Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)]. These activities will be ongoing for as long as necessary. In the near future, our focus will be on the restoration of settlements in Syunik and Gegharkunik Provinces—through the implementation of similar programs which are implemented in Tavush Province.
The search for the missing and the exchange of prisoners is a top priority; this work is done every day. The main problem is that, unfortunately, not everything depends only on us. The list of urgent measures also includes the implementation of programs to provide social guarantees to citizens affected by the war. Besides, even in these conditions, it is necessary to ensure the continuity of the implemented programs; moreover, their agenda should be expanded, taking into account the new challenges," Pashinyan added.
The Prime Minister noted that in parallel, work should be done to clarify and analyze the details of what happened. "The Armenian society must get answers to the questions as to why and how everything happened. Citizens need to be able to make decisions. It is very important for the people to feel the masters of their country and to build their future on it and to realize for themselves who they will build it with and who will play what role. The creative potential of the Armenian people is boundless. Faith in the future must not be allowed to run out. All work should be aimed at strengthening it," the Prime Minister concluded.
On November 9, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on a complete cessation of hostilities— which Azerbaijan had launched on September 27—in and around Artsakh. Accordingly, Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the region to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities. But this statement also stipulates the handover of part of Artsakh lands to Azerbaijan.