Nikol Pashinyan makes proposal to resolve the situation on Armenia-Azerbaijan border
27 / 05 / 2021
The Security Council held a special meeting, chaired by Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. In addition to the members of the Security Council, the meeting was attended by National Assembly Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, Acting Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan, head of the My Step parliamentary faction Lilit Makunts, Prosperous Armenia faction secretary Arman Abovyan, Enlightened Armenia faction head Edmon Marukyan, Chairman of NA Standing Committee on Defense and Security Affairs Andranik Kocharyan, Chairman of NA Standing Committee for External Relations Ruben Rubinyan.
The meeting discussed the rising tensions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Nikol Pashinyan came up with a proposal to resolve the situation. Addressing the meeting, the Acting Premier stated:
“Dear colleagues, I came here from Gegharkunik, specifically from the border areas surrounding Kuth village. I got acquainted with the situation on the spot, and now I want to share my impressions with you. In addition, I would like to suggest a way out of the current situation.
The situation is tense, and the tension tends to grow. The situation is not only statically tense, but tensions keep growing and, most likely, will continue to grow. Why? Because not only have the servicemen on both sides been standing face-to-face and engaged in several incidents over the past 15 days, which may eventually blow up the situation, but also because after today’s incident there is a possibility that either the Armenian servicemen could try to take captives, and the other side might retaliate, My assessment is that if the situation is not settled, this provocation may trigger large-scale clashes.
Now I do not want to restate the assessments that I have given publicly on several occasions, but I wish to suggest a solution, a peaceful diplomatic solution to the situation, which will lead to de-escalation.
You know that the Azerbaijani side explains, justifies its actions with some maps at its disposal, but we have different ideas about the location of the border line and geography. Of course, we do not share this assessment; we adhere to a clear-cut position on the matter at hand. But since it has come to this explosive situation, I am hereby making an open proposal to the international community. I am doing this for the Armenian society as well, and this proposal is also addressed to the government of Azerbaijan.
My proposal is as follows: we agree that the armed units on both sides, that is, the units of the armed forces pull back from the border as shortly as possible in a mirror image. I mean, there is an idea of the border, so they move five, or one, two, three kilometers away on both sides of the border.
We suggest that the armed forces should leave this territory altogether and return to their permanent places of deployment. Instead, international observers representing Russia or the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries will be deployed along the proposed border. The presence of observers on this territory is necessary for the parties to make sure that the other side complies with the agreement, i.e. fails to bring its troops closer to the border.
I want to emphasize that we are talking about the Sotk-Khoznavar section because the latest border tension arose precisely in this area. After that, efforts should be made to determine the border points under international auspices. Observers representing Russia or the OSCE Minsk Group will have to be involved in this case, and the process should take place under the auspices of Russia or the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing nations.
This is my proposal, this is my plan. If Azerbaijan really has a problem with clarifying the border points, then it should have no reason to abandon this plan. For our part, we are convinced that we can justify our position to the international observers. Maybe they also have their share of trust, but that is not what we are talking about; we are talking about de-escalating the situation at this stage and achieving a peaceful diplomatic solution.
This can be considered an official offer to Russia, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing nations and Azerbaijan. I hope this offer will be accepted. After having studied the situation on the ground, I came to the conclusion that this is the shortest, most effective and reasonable solution in this situation, because if we do not go this way, the situation will inevitably get out of control, which is inadmissible.
In addition, we will indeed initiate active consultations with our international partners. I have already discussed this topic with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and I hope that we will soon have the opportunity to proceed to practicalities.”
The full speech of the Prime Minister.