Interviews and press conferences

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Interview with BBC World News TV Channel


Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – Yes, Artsakh is Armenia, a country of Armenians, because 80% of its population has always been Armenian. And it is the case today. What is the problem with it? Azerbaijan wants no Armenians living there. That is why it attacked Nagorno-Karabakh with the support of terrorists. Can anyone suggest that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh should say: We will give up our roots just because you are terrorists? That is impossible.

BBC – When you talk like that there does not seem to be much scope for compromise.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – No, we are ready for compromise.

BBC – What are you going to compromise? Are you willing to consider the possibility of giving up some of the adjacent territories around Nagorno-Karabakh that is controlled by ethnic Armenians in return for this coming to an end? Is that conceivable to you to give up some of the adjacent territories?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - These ideas have been discussed all the way through the negotiation process. These ideas were discussed in 2013, 2015, and before that. These ideas were not implemented for a simple reason. Azerbaijan refused to recognize the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination.

BBC – Under the international law, current international law, Armenia has been illegally occupying Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent areas for more than 25 years. You can see why some people have very proximity of your part.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – That is not the case. What does it mean?

BBC World News - Look at the international law, look at the UN Assembly resolutions.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Look, unfortunately everyone else and many are quoting, saying that...

BBC – What you are saying is a historical claim but under international law you are wrong.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Sorry, there is no such international law you are talking about. Everyone quotes UN General Assembly resolutions. Unfortunately, very few have read them. There is no mention of Armenia having occupied anything. There is no such thing. I was just describing Nagorno-Karabakh’s...

BBC - It is in the resolution that it belongs to Azerbaijan.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - You say you are coming from Stepanakert, and you saw that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh are facing an existential threat. In other words, the whole problem is that should the Azerbaijani armed forces succeed, it would mean genocide for the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.

BBC – If spoken to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin four times since the start and you spoke to him again last night, if Armenian territory is attacked, will Russia support you militarily?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - There is a specific contractual framework – agreements - which stipulate that in case of imminent threat to the territory of the Republic of Armenia, Russia must fulfill its security-related commitments subject to specific conditions.

BBC - So, just to be very clear. In your discussions with President Putin over the last week or so he has reaffirmed that commitment that if Armenian territory is hit, Armenia will get Russian military support.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - You know, I will answer your question politically: the Russian Federation has assured that it will comply with its commitments as formulated in the aforesaid agreements. Yes.

BBC - So, he has told you that.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – Yes, he has.

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