Opposition MP Armen Rustamyan asked Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, in the National Assembly of Armenia Wednesday, about the view that Armenia left Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) all alone with its administrative group and what the future of the Armenian authorities is under this reality.
Pashinyan replied that to say that the Armenian authorities have left Nagorno-Karabakh all alone is the most unfair accusation that can be made.
"During the last three years, the Republic of Armenia has provided more than $1 billion in funding to Nagorno-Karabakh. In my personal opinion, Nagorno-Karabakh has not lacked anything during this period—and in terms of self-defense—before the [Azerbaijani] blockade. I did not say that we will not intervene; I said that the goal is to engage Armenia in military operations, and we will not be engaged in military operations, but we have provided full political support to Nagorno-Karabakh. (…). Yes, the goal and main target of that provocation [by Azerbaijan] was and remains the Republic of Armenia. I, as the Prime Minister of Armenia, first of all, my duty is to ensure the security of Armenia. Today, we expect international aid, but we don't roam around the world with outstretched hands [saying] that ‘you throw us two pennies so that our brothers and sisters [in Nagorno-Karabakh] don't starve,"’ Pashinyan said.
Reflecting on his previous statement that the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh is not in direct danger, Pashinyan stated that the motivation of his aforesaid statement was not to intensify the threats against these people.
"(…). (…) and I am happy that maybe thanks to my statement a well, more than 105 thousand people in difficult, suffering, in a dire psychological state have came and reached the Republic of Armenia. And I am happy that we have the opportunity to receive them properly today," he said.
Pashinyan added that Armenia's positions on ethnic cleansing were very clearly stated.
"The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the position of the Armenian government. The people who were victims of ethnic cleansing, 105,000 of them alive, came to Armenia on their feet; but this does not mean that they are not victims of ethnic cleansing. My preference was that even if people are victims of ethnic cleansing, they should reach safely to the Republic of Armenia. (…). Not to mention that there is the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh, which was stationed there, including under my signature, and whose mission to send there is to prevent the massacre of the civilian population in Nagorno-Karabakh," Nikol Pashinyan said.