The most important issue after the agreement to cease the fire in Nagorno-Karabakh is for Russia to ensure the right of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians to live in their homes, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said in a statement aired live.
Pashinyan said they just learned from the official information pages of Nagorno-Karabakh that they have accepted the proposal of the command of the Russian peacekeeping troops regarding the cessation of fire.
"Of course, we got acquainted with the text and since RA did not participate in the preparation of that text in any way and was not a party to the discussions, the first consideration is that the text mentions the Armed Forces of Armenia and talks about the remaining units of the Armed Forces of Armenia from Nagorno-Karabakh. First, this fact is not very clear to us as when we have repeatedly said that since August 2021, Armenia does not have an army in Nagorno-Karabakh. In any case, we take note of this statement and its acceptance by the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The next thing that I want to address is the issue of the security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, and it is logically assumed that if the peacekeepers made such a proposal, this in itself means that they have fully and without reservations accepted the full obligation to ensure the security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh by which they must provide full conditions in order to preserve the right of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians to live in their homes, on their land, and to live with dignity and safety.
My understanding is that this responsibility is also fully assumed, although we were always of the opinion that this responsibility is placed on the Russian peacekeeping mission by the tripartite statement of November 9, 2020. But we hope that by taking such a step, the Russian peacekeeping contingent will fully fulfill its duties, regarding which we had certain reservations," said Pashinyan.
He added that mentioning the name of Armenia in a text that has nothing to do with Armenia justifies his hypothesis and assessment that one of the goals of the military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh is to involve Armenia in military operations.
"Of course, my assessment is that if it is possible to involve Armenia in military operations, its deep target would be Armenia's independence and sovereignty. In this regard, my assessment, at least in the context of today's events, at least has a very serious right to exist, but it is my assessment and my understanding.
We take note of what happened, we will continue to follow the developments and if we have an additional assessment, something to say in this regard, we will definitely share it with you. The latest information that I managed to get from Nagorno-Karabakh is that the intensity of military operations has decreased dramatically. We hope that the military escalation will not continue, especially in these conditions, stability and the cessation of hostilities is very important," said Pashinyan.
He emphasized that the most important issue now is that the right of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to live in their homes be fully ensured by Russia. "Practically, we will follow the events. We may have some exchange of ideas with our international partners regarding this situation, and if we have additional assessments and something to say, we will definitely share it with you."
According to Artsakh's information headquarters, an agreement has been reached between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan with the mediation of Russian peacekeepers on the complete cessation of military operations from 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
An agreement has been reached on the withdrawal of the remaining units and servicemen of the RA Armed Forces from the deployment zone of the Russian peacekeeping troops and the dissolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh armed formations, the complete disarmament of the Defense Army, as well as the withdrawal of heavy equipment and weapons from the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in order to quickly eliminate them.
In addition, on Thursday, the representatives of Artsakh and Azerbaijan will meet in Yevlakh, a city in Azerbaijan located about 100 km northeast of Stepanakert, and the issues of ensuring the security of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians will be discussed.