Interviews and press conferences

We will pursue agenda of establishment of peace and I am glad for our international partners show increasing understanding of that – PM Pashinyan


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Following the meeting, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Head of Government of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė gave statements to the media summarizing the results of the talks. Below are the statements and questions & answers of the two Prime Ministers.

Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė - It is a great pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan in Lithuania, who is in Lithuania on his first official visit.

Our countries have had friendly relations for a long time, I think we will be able to do a lot together with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia to make our relations closer. I'm sure we will find ways to do that.

This year we mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. We are marking the anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations with a number of countries, but we have only managed to meet with representatives of a few countries. And I am very happy that this meeting is taking place. And I am very happy that this meeting is taking place. Soon our capitals will be connected by direct flights, and it will allow our peoples to get to know each other better and continue to deepen relations.

Of course, at this meeting we could not miss the discussion of the challenges facing the states. We have a very successful experience of cooperation particularly against coronavirus, our medical workers provide assistance to Armenia. Our Government has made two decisions on donating vaccines to the people of Armenia. I hope we will be able to assist in overcoming this problem, we will help the Government over this issue within the framework of the agreement signed between the Ministries of Health of the two countries.

I am grateful to the Government of Armenia for responding to the issue of illegal migration. One of the most urgent needs is the need for interpreters. Interpreters are needed to communicate with people crossing the border illegally, and Armenia helped us by providing interpreters. We appreciate that support.

As we saw, the support for democracy in the recent elections in Armenia is very strong. The Prime Minister and his political force received huge support. Reforms and democratic changes received tremendous support. I think that sharing best practices in elections, lessons learned from mistakes, and sharing information about alternatives can be helpful. We have passed a long path, we have accumulated rich experience, we have exchanged that experience and we will exchange it more intensively in the future. During this visit, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia will visit some of the state bodies of Lithuania, which will participate in the exchange of experience, in particular, in waste processing an dother spheres.

Within the European Union, we support overcoming regional challenges. Only recently, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement was signed between the European Union and Armenia, and a number of reforms will be implemented on the basis of that agreement.

We believe that the European structures, with their support and participation, should play a very important role. Mechanisms for restoring and maintaining peace are also very important. We are ready to be Armenia's friend also in the future.

Thank you very much.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Honorable Ms. Prime Minister, Distinguished Representatives of the Mass Media, Ladies and Gentlem,

Starting my speech, I would like to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrida Šimonytė, for the invitation to pay an official visit to Lithuania, as well as for the warm hospitality shown to me and the members of the delegation.

Lithuania is one of our key partners in the European Union; I appreciate this opportunity to meet with the Lithuanian Prime Minister, President, Speaker of the Seimas to discuss our bilateral agenda, as well as to exchange views on Armenia's cooperation with the EU and the situation in the region.

Armenia and Lithuania are connected by many threads. Democratic values and the traditional friendly relations between our peoples have laid a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Today we have unexploited potential to expand our cooperation in the fields of tourism, information technology, agriculture, food processing and industry.

Armenia has dynamic relations with the European Union. And Lithuania, as a friendly state and supporter of the Eastern Partnership, can play an important role in promoting Armenia's dialogue and cooperation with the EU.

During the meeting, I informed my colleague about the situation in our region and the developments that have taken place in the last few months. In particular, I stressed that the final, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be based on the well-known principles that enjoy the support of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

We highly appreciate Lithuania's balanced and constructive position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

We also highly appreciate the humanitarian assistance provided by your Government to meet the challenges that our people have faced over the past year. In this regard, Ms. Prime Minister, I would like to express gratitude for your decision to provide 50,000 doses of vaccine to Armenia.

I also informed my colleague about the early parliamentary elections of June 20, as a result of which it was possible to overcome the internal political crisis, the atmosphere of public unrest in the Republic of Armenia. These were the second consecutive elections in Armenia, which were assessed by international observers as free, fair and competitive.

As a result of the elections, our Government received a mandate to work in the direction of opening an era of peaceful development for our people and the region: a strategic goal enshrined in our Government's Action Plan.

We see the achievement of this key goal through dialogue and overcoming the atmosphere of hostility in our region. We are determined to pass this path. However, it should be noted with regret that the permanent ceasefire violations, the issue of the return of hostages and other detainees, the trilateral joint declaration, I am speaking about the November 9 statement, arbitrary interpretations, aggressive rhetoric continue to exacerbate the situation, hampering the establishment of the firm and sustainable peace so much necessary for all the peoples of the region.

But I would also like to emphasize that regardless of these circumstances, we will continue to pursue the agenda of establishing peace in the region, consistently, tirelessly, and I am very glad that the understanding of our international partners towards our agenda continues to grow.

Once again, I would like to thank Ms. Šimonytė for her warm hospitality and reception. I would like to take this opportunity to invite her to pay an official visit to the Republic of Armenia.

Question – Public TV of Armenia – My question is addressed to both Prime Ministers. Mr. Prime Minister, yesterday and today you reaffirmed that despite the problems observed in the external environment, we have adopted the policy of opening a peaceful era for our region. How do you consider it possible if one of the countries in the region, Azerbaijan, continues making provocations at the border, put forward preconditions, and does not fulfill the points of the November 9 declaration, continuing holding Armenians as hostages and captives? And what is the position of Lithuania, an EU member state, for the establishment of lasting peace in the South Caucasus?

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan – Thank you. In my speech, I touched upon all the issues raised by you; I think that, as I have already mentioned, we should be consistent in the agenda we have adopted, and also provide details on our ideas on the solution of all the issues. I want to emphasize that the opening of regional communications is very important in this regard. I must emphasize that I have had the opportunity to say in the past that we should embrace such scenarios of unblocking the communications, which should not deepen the isolation of the peoples and countries of the region from each other, but, on the contrary, should create conditions for their peaceful coexistence. I am pleased to note that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have, in fact, begun to intensify their activities. I must state that I consider the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in New York positive.

We have expressed our readiness to start the process of demarcation and delimitation of the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which, in my opinion, should start upon the creation of the necessary conditions for that.

Of course, the swift return of captives, hostages and other detainees is a very important issue. Yesterday, during a meeting with representatives of our community, I had the opportunity to say that, as I have stated before, I am ready to meet with the president of Azerbaijan, particularly, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. Azerbaijan raises the issue of maps of minefields posing a humanitarian threat. We have handed over some of the maps, and as I said yesterday, ahead of that potential meeting, I am ready to take with me all the maps of the minefirlds, which pose a humanitarian threat, but have no security function for us. I hope that the president of Azerbaijan, in his turn, will bring with him, literally or figuratively, the prisoners, hostages and other detainees kept in Azerbaijan. By the way, here we mean not only those whose fact of captivity has been officially confirmed, but also our citizens who, according to our information, are in Azerbaijan, but the fact of their captivity has not been confirmed.

It is not easy to implement the agenda of opening an era of peaceful development, but on the other hand, I think that there is no alternative to peace, and we must step by step make that agenda a reality. Thank you.

Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė – Thank you. I don’t have much to add. I think that everyone, including us, hopes that it will be possible to return to the political settlement of the conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

It is nice to hear that there have been some positive changes. The Prime Minister mentioned the meeting of the ministers. I think this is not the only positive event. At EU level, we have a number of political leaders who think more closely and sincerely about security and peace in the region. I believe that the European Union will pay enough attention to this issue, and with practical advice and solutions will assist the settlement of the conflict.

Question – representative of the Lithuanian media - The president of Azerbaijan has expressed a desire to meet with you as soon as possible, and you say that you are ready to meet with him. When do you expect such a meeting to take place? Where do you expect it to take place?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - I think we have no time or place limits, because the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have a practice of organizing such meetings. The only logical limitation is that those meetings take place in the territory of third countries.

In fact, my readiness is not new, because in the recent months I have welcomed several times the statements of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles and elements put on the table by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. We have been ready for that meeting, I mean it is not the first time that we have stated about it and I hope that under the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group it will be possible to intensify the efforts aimed at the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Of course, I want to emphasize that we are cooperating even now, we have a trilateral working group co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which was formed on the basis of the trilateral statement of January 11. Let me remind that this statement is about the opening of transport and economic communications in the region, which in turn emerges from the 9th point of the November 9 statement, the core of which is that all infrastructural, transport and economic communications in the region should be opened. Unfortunately, so far they have not been opened, because there is a problem. Sometimes comments are made that go beyond this logic of this statement.

Logically, the existing railways and roads between Armenia and Azerbaijan should have been opened or be on the threshold of opening now. I hope that we will be able to make progress in this issue as well, but in the context of all this, I want to emphasize that the humanitarian aspect is again clearly stated in the November 9 declaration, according to which prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees should have been returned by now, but unfortunately they are not returned.

I think that the return of prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees will create a certain positive background, against which the negotiations on the demarcation and delimitation of the borders, the opening of regional communications, the comprehensive and political settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict will have the chances to be more effective. Thank you.


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