March 03
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Yes. There is the issue of enclaves. But what does that issue mean? And where does it come from? And why does it exist? Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted this while answering, on live broadcast Friday, people’s video questions.

"One of the principles of the peace treaty is that Armenia and Azerbaijan mutually recognize each other's territorial integrity on the territories of Soviet Armenia and Soviet Azerbaijan. And when we say the territory of Armenia of 29,800 square kilometers, it does not include the exclaves/enclaves that belonged to Azerbaijan during the USSR. And the 29,800 square kilometers of Armenia includes Artsvashen [village], which is an [Armenian] exclave surrounded by the territory of Azerbaijan. This issue must be addressed in some way. Even if I want to, I cannot say that there is no such issue. Artsvashen is the territory of sovereign Armenia; I cannot simply say we have nothing to do with this piece of the sovereign territory of Armenia. When we raise the issue of Artsvashen, Azerbaijan, in turn, raises the issue of the [Azerbaijani] enclaves that existed de jure according to its description and the maps and decisions of the USSR. If we say that there is no issue of enclaves, then we must say that there is no issue of exclaves as well, and [therefore] there is no issue of Artsvashen; but both issues exist. Those two issues should be settled in the peace process," said Pashinyan.

He emphasized that there are several ways to solve this problem.

"Let's say, we reaffirm our sovereignty over Artsvashen, Azerbaijan—over the de jure existing enclaves. There are many questions here. First, the territory of that exclave must be drawn, reestablished. Secondly, we [Armenia] do not have a direct border with Artsvashen. How are we going to cross the territory from our border to Artsvashen? And Azerbaijan, respectively, in its case? Many problems arise here.

"Another solution can be found here that the exclaves that are surrounded by the territory of Armenia start to be considered de jure the territory of Armenia, the territories that are surrounded by the territory of Azerbaijan start to be considered the territory of Azerbaijan. But this is already a topic of a concrete agreement which must also be ratified by the National Assembly of Armenia," Pashinyan stressed.

The Armenian premier announced that there were discussions on this topic during the peace talks with Azerbaijan.

"At the moment, there is no very specific, objective arrangement, agreement on this topic. If we are going to take action, you will know about it, we will discuss [it]," Pashinyan said.

He assured that there is no option to solve this problem whose resulting parallel solutions are not possible and thought out on the spot.

"The tensions over this issue are much more than it is worth to have tensions over this issue," the Armenian PM added.

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