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An important cornerstone has been laid for the further development and strengthening of our sovereignty and independence. the Prime Minister comments on the demarcation process


Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan referred to the Armenia-Azerbaijan border demarcation process at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting. In his speech, the Prime Minister, in particular, noted:

"Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, yesterday the commissions of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, in compliance with the protocol adopted at the joint session of April 19, agreed on the border sections between villages of Baghanis of the Republic of Armenia - Baghanis Ayrum of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Voskepar of the Republic of Armenia - Ashagh Askipara of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Kirants of the Republic of Armenia - Khairemli of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Berkaber of the Republic of Armenia - Kyzyl Hajil of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and signed the description-protocols of these border sections.

I want to say that I consider this a great success. I consider it a great success for two reasons. First, a very important cornerstone has been laid for the further development and strengthening of our sovereignty and independence. Second, for the first time since independence, our republic has an officially delimited border, which will significantly increase the level of security and stability not only in the area of the mentioned villages, but also along the entire Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

And I also want to thank the Government Commission on Border Delimitation and Border Security, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan and all members. I want to thank all the members of the Security Council of the Republic of Armenia, who were involved in this whole process, in fact, on a daily basis. I also want to thank you, all of you present, because I have regularly provided information about what is happening around the delimitation process.

I would like to make an additional comment on one or two details. I am sure that yesterday you saw the answers of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Government to the questions of "Armenpress" and you noticed that it is recorded, of course, it is also recorded in the joint statement of the commissions, that the demarcation took place based on the maps of 1976, which passed a duty process in 1979.

You know that it was fundamental for us not to create a new border in the process of demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but to reproduce the borders previously affirmed by the Alma-Ata Declaration. In other words, we are saying that during delimitation we should not create a border, but we should reproduce the borders that existed at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and have de jure legal significance. For this, we first referred to the Alma-Ata Declaration, and on April 19, this was fixed, recorded, as the basic principle of the entire demarcation process. Now we also have a reference to the maps, and they are the last de jure maps of the Soviet Union.

And I want to describe what the duty the process is: between the Soviet republics, in fact, if not constantly, there were regular adjustments of border issues according to the internal laws and procedures of the republics, of course, within the framework of the legislation of the Soviet Union. And those already established processes were given final legal force at the cartographic level by the authorized body of the Soviet Union in the field of geodesy and cartography, which regularly, from time to time, collected from the republics the decisions that had already gained legal force in the republics, that is, what information that existed during that time, that has legal force, was collected, they were rechecked. This is a very important circumstance, that is, not only has the information been collected, but the authorized body went back to find out how legally justified the information it received really is. And, based on all this information, it confirmed the cartographic basis of the border line between the Soviet republics.

And here, in our demarcated area, the maps that went through that duty process were in 1979, that is, were de jure approved, are the last such maps during the Soviet Union. In other words, during the existence of the Soviet Union, there is simply no other map that has passed the duty process in our demarcated areas.

And this principle, that there should be a reproduction of borders, is extremely important for us. And in simpler terms, we have adopted the principle that the border passes where it passes. I want all of us to record this subtlety: the border passes where it passes. And this is also an extremely important principle. Because if we were to go with the logic that by deviating from this principle, we should create a new border, what would that mean, would that mean that we are creating a direct source of escalation and military conflict? With this process of ours, of course, I don't want us to overestimate what happened, but I also don't want to underestimate it, by fixing this principle, when we say that the border passes where it passes, we, in fact, if have not eliminated the chances for escalation, at least we have significantly reduced it. And also in this sense, I consider what happened to be a very important and essential success.

Now about the specific results of demarcation. Look, we say that, for example, there was no problem in the section of Berkaber village, and as a result, there is no problem. We say that there were possible problems in parts of Baghanis-Voskepar villages, but in practice it turned out that there was no problem, in particular, you know, there were very sensitive issues related to the Church of the Holy Virgin, Voskepar and also Voskepar-Baghanis, as the people say, with the old road. Those who traveled that way, when we passed the village of Voskepar or the village of Baghanis on the opposite side, there was a sign "Site under observation". And now, as a result of the demarcation, that road is not only completely in the already de jure established, reaffirmed sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, but also, in fact, due to new circumstances, that road is already safe for traffic.

We didn't have any problems in the church section, not only in terms of the church itself, but also in terms of the distance from the church to the border line, because if I'm not mistaken, at least I was told that there is quite a distance between the church and the border line. Now, why is there no problem in the Voskepar-Baghanis section and there is no problem in the Berkaber section? Because we have adopted the principle that the border passes where it passes.

And why can we have and have certain problems in the Kirants sector? Again for the same reason, because we have adopted the principle that the border passes where it passes. And this principle is very important. The recording of this cartographic, political and legal basis is very important, as it is essentially valid for all sites and sections of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In addition, I want to say that this is one of the most important motivations for us, that we agreed upon adopting this principle, because we took into account that now we are creating not only a precedent, but also a delimitation formula that should work in the future, for the whole process of delimitation. And this means that the demarcation process becomes maximally predictable for both Azerbaijan and us.

Of course, I say again, where the Parties will consider that there is a need for certain compromises, this can also be discussed in accordance with our laws and procedures. But the most important point of this stage is that a principle was formed and established, which will operate along the entire Armenia-Azerbaijan border, and along the entire length we will follow the path of reproducing the existing border that had legal force at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In those areas where we have problems, certain problems may arise, the government will consistently solve all these problems. We have already said that these problems are our problems, they are not the problems of the residents of Kirants or a few families, they are our problems and it is the problem of our government, it is my problem, and we will solve these problems consistently.

And I just want to share my belief, I'm just convinced that we made a decision that is of utmost importance on the way to realizing our strategic goal stated back in 2019, and that strategic goal was to create conditions for the continued existence of the sovereign, independent state of the Republic of Armenia. Today, an important one of those conditions is ensured, of course, in the part that was announced, but it is also important that a certain horizon has been opened for the future, which can be maximally predictable for us. That's all I wanted to say, Mr. Grigoryan, do you have anything to add?"

Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan - No, Mr. Prime Minister, I would just like to add that during yesterday's meeting, the discussions regarding the regulations also continued. It seems there is an agreement that the principles adopted in this process will be reflected in the regulations and work on the draft will continue intensively. Also, I want to reconfirm that the Azerbaijani side is also inclined to continue the demarcation process in the same format, with the same algorithm that we used this time. Thank you.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Thank you, of course we also have to deal with the implementation of the already made decisions in the next 8-10 days, although I must say, for example, for more than a week or even 10 days, the border guard troops of the Republic of Armenia have been carrying out duty in Baghanis-Voskepar section, that is, from the moment when the border posts were installed, that is, immediately after the completion of the installation of the posts in that area, the border guard troops were deployed, now they are studying the area in order to carry out permanent service there. The same process will take place in other sectors as well.

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