PM Pashinyan: “The will to win should tell us that we will not retreat; we will not back down; we will not be broken”
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke in a live video address on Facebook about the situation faced following the Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression in Nagorno-Karabakh and on what to do next.
The Prime Minister noted that there is no diplomatic solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, at least at this stage as Azerbaijan wants to resolve it only through military means, and the capitulation of Artsakh is the only option acceptable to them.
“We have to clearly realize that at least at this stage and for a long time ahead the NK conflict does not have a diplomatic solution, and we must give up all those hopes or proposals aimed at finding a diplomatic solution, especially in this situation. We have repeatedly stated our readiness to settle the issue through compromise. This means that we can reduce something from the bar we set for the sake of a solution, provided that the other side has to lower something from its bar. But practice has shown that this logic is otherwise unacceptable for Azerbaijan,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The Prime Minister stressed that in this situation we must fight to the last if we are to protect the rights of our people. “No matter what happens, we must fight for the rights of our people. This means first of all taking up arms and defending the Homeland. Only if we organize this process effectively and continuously, we will be able to reach a diplomatic solution acceptable to us. Azerbaijan says it does not agree with anything other than the capitulation of Karabakh. Therefore, protecting the rights of the people of Artsakh implies protecting the rights of the Armenian people. There is no Armenia without Artsakh,” the Prime Minister said, adding that thereby we will finally manage to reach an acceptable diplomatic solution.
“We all understand what that means. I wish to say that not only Karabakh is at stake, and I do not even want to discuss it, because our heroes of the liberation war of the 90s, and the entire context makes us refer to peoples’ rights as we talk about Karabakh, since we realized in the early 90s that there is no Armenia without Artsakh, therefore protecting the rights of the people of Artsakh means protecting the rights of the Armenian people. I do not see any difference here. And this first of all means fighting, taking up arms, fighting for our rights until we reach an acceptable option through diplomatic channels. Moreover, I am talking about the final solution of the issue. In this context, I think that this process should be organized and implemented by the political leadership of our people,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The Prime Minister urged citizens to sign up as military volunteers to help defend the Homeland. “I call on all Armenian marz governors, mayors, all state and local self-government bodies, the leaders of those bodies, parties, non-governmental organizations, and civic initiatives to lead the way, to form volunteer groups to protect the rights of the Armenian people. They should be placed at the disposal of the Chief of General Staff, and the moment of formation should be considered equivalent to a military oath, which means that they should stand firm and carry out the task set before them,” Nikol Pashinyan emphasized .
The Prime Minister noted that we are facing a turning point, and this should solve the problems of the Armenian people for the past 500 years. “We have gone through genocide, and the genocide took place because many used to believe that there might be individuals other than themselves who would stand up for the people’s rights.
There are such people today, but we need to support them, because many of them - our heroic soldiers, officers and volunteers - died for the sake of the homeland and we must take over the baton. We must all stand up. You are just the one to take up arms today, join our heroes and get the victory which is our ultimate goal. The situation leaves us no other choice but to win, there is no intermediate option. Victory calls for the efforts of each of us,” the Prime Minister said.
Nikol Pashinyan reminded that the situation was much more desperate and challenging during the first Karabakh war; it seemed that there was no way out, but our people found the solution because there were people who took responsibility for the fate of the Armenian people. “Our heroes are eyeing us; we should never be forced to steal our eyes from them, because they gave everything to the homeland and spared nothing, now it is our time,” Pashinyan said.
The Prime Minister stressed that he has always highly valued the cooperation between Armenia and Russia. “We have always felt Russia’s support as a strategic ally of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people. Our countries keep in close touch; we have cooperated as effectively as possible; we are working to find a solution to this situation taking into account the fact that Russia is also a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and at the same time it is Armenia’s strategic partner. I think Russia has been doing its best so far, and I am convinced that it will continue to do so in the future as well. I do not doubt it at all,” Nikol Pashinyan stressed. At the same time, the Prime Minister noted that Azerbaijan’s armed forces are throwing their last reserves into the large-scale war unleashed against Artsakh.
“We are facing quite a difficult situation on the frontline. Fighting is raging on all the way Artsakh’s southern borders. Our findings have revealed that Azerbaijan is sending its last reserves to the battlefield. They have sizeable resources, but our heroic soldiers are inflicting huge losses on the enemy,” Nikol Pashinyan said, noting that Azerbaijan’s heavy losses are one of the reasons behind their reluctance to observe the humanitarian ceasefire.
“The humanitarian ceasefire implies that the victims’ bodies should be collected, cared for and buried. Azerbaijan fears the emergence of tens of thousands of dead bodies against the setback of nationwide euphoria. They have a huge loss of military equipment, armored vehicles, especially since we have started to attack the Turkish Bayraktars. The humanitarian ceasefire threatens them to expose the dead bodies of mercenaries and Turkish troops,” the Premier said.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, today we must avoid facing the bitter side of our history; instead we must eye the heroic side, because the situation was much more desperate, much more difficult during the first Karabakh war in the 90s. There seemed to be no way out, but our people found a solution because there were people who took responsibility for the fate of the Armenian people.
“And I want to say again that the heroes of our first liberation war - Monte Melkonyan, Tatul Krpeyan, Jivan Abrahamyan, Movses Gorgisyan, Vazgen Sargsyan - are looking at us, and we have to look straight into their eyes, because they gave everything to the Homeland and spared nothing. The time has come for us to give the Homeland everything we have. And remember that Armenia’s future depends on one person, and you are that one person.
I love you all. I am proud of all of you. I bow to you all. I want all of us to build up and strengthen our collective will to win and the spirit of victory in our souls, in our minds. Let us see the victory in each other’s eyes. Victory must first be forged in the eyes, in our soul and mind.
The will to win should tell us that we will not retreat, we will not back down; we will not be broken. We cannot be defeated. And we will win. Victory depends on one person, and you are that one person. Therefore, long live our children who will live in a free and happy Armenia, in a free and happy Artsakh!” the Prime Minister concluded.