Nikol Pashinyan: “Ruling out any provocation, as well as exchanging the war prisoners and the bodies of victims is a priority”
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in the on-line session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The event was attended by RF President Vladimir Putin, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, Acting President of Kyrgyzstan Talant Mamitov, and the CSTO Secretary General.
Prime Minister Pashinyan delivered a speech, in which he stated:
Dear CSTO Secretary General,
It is my pleasure to greet you to today’s meeting, which summarizes the presidency of the Russian Federation in our organization. The priorities of the Russian presidency sought to address urgent problems related to CSTO development and improve cooperation, and we are grateful for the work done during this difficult period for all of us.
I would also like to thank Stanislav Vasilyevich Zas and the CSTO secretariat for organizing today’s meeting in the on-line format and, in general, for the work being done against the backdrop of COVID-19. And, of course, taking this opportunity, I would like to welcome Acting President of the Kyrgyz Republic Talant Mamytov, who is participating in a meeting of our organization for the first time.
The Armenian people faced aggression over the past two months. Backed by Turkey and mercenary terrorists recruited in the Middle East, Azerbaijan launched an offensive against the Armenian people.
As you may know, through the mediation efforts of the Russian Federation it was possible to stop the hostilities and agree on measures to de-escalate the situation. More than three weeks have passed since the hostilities ended. Russian peacekeepers have been stationed in the conflict zone. Yet today we are facing a number of urgent tasks.
Firstly, it is the question of the exchange of prisoners of war, hostages, other detainees, as well as the exchange of bodies of killed servicemen and the clarification of the fate of the missing. These are urgent questions.
The Armenian side is ready to speed up this process and increase its efficiency. At the same time, we need to rule out any violence against the prisoners of war and detainees and the humiliation of their dignity.
Secondly, conditions have to be provided for Artsakh residents to return to their homes and restore normal life in Nagorno-Karabakh. People need to be sure that they are safe and can continue to live on their land.
Several tens of thousands of Artsakh people have already returned to their homes, and we are making every effort to help and support our compatriots. Besides, measures need to be taken to protect the Armenian cultural and religious monuments located in the territories under Azerbaijan’s control.
Finally, we need to ensure the safe functioning of transport communications. It is necessary to rule out any provocation and establish normal conditions for the functioning of lifeline infrastructure in Artsakh.
The aforementioned measures, including the unblocking of all economic and transport links in the region, are necessary to lay a firm foundation for long-term peace in the region.
Deployed along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor, which connects Artsakh and Armenia, the Russian peacekeeping force is the guarantor of peace and security in the region.
In this regard, I would like to highlight the exceptional role played by Russian President Vladimir Putin. We kept in close touch throughout the 44 days of hostilities and discussed the necessary measures to stop the bloodshed and save human lives. We are still working very closely with Vladimir Vladimirovich to solve such problems as the search for missing people, the exchange of prisoners of war and dead bodies.
In conclusion, I wish to congratulate Tajikistan on assuming the CSTO chairmanship. I would like to assure you that Armenia remains committed to close interaction with a view to implementing the priorities of Tajikistan’s presidency. Thank you.”
A number of issues related to allied cooperation within the framework of the Organization and the continued improvement of CSTO efficiency were discussed during the meeting. Views were exchanged on topical issues of regional and international security.