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May 18
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YEREVAN. – I have to reflect on the ongoing barbarism that is taking place in Azerbaijan, in the occupied territories of Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)]—particularly in Shushi [town]. Vladimir Vardanyan, an MP of the ruling My Step bloc, on Tuesday stated this during his remarks at the National Assembly of Armenia.

The lawmaker noted that these barbarities are taking place within the framework of the construction and repair at the Artsakh territories that now have passed to the adversary, noting that the dome of Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Armenian church in Shushi had been demolished and returned to its 1992 appearance.

"The dome still had that appearance it had in the late 19th, early 20th centuries, before it was demolished, and this is done for a number of clear reasons. First, to eliminate any sample of Armenian identity in Azerbaijan, and once again to emphasize Azerbaijan's Armenophobic attitude, to eliminate the architectural dominance in Shushi that would always be high and visible from every part, and once again to clearly stress that Azerbaijan does not want to tolerate in any way the presence of any ethnic Armenian in that region," he said.

Vardanyan noted that according to new draft law he has tabled, a crime related to the destruction of any group's cultural treasure due to national, racial, religious or other affiliation has been added to the Criminal Code as an international crime.

The MP added that he will inform all international associates about this, and if the international community does not respond to all this, Armenians will again have destroyed monuments.

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