Statements and messages of the Prime Minister of RA

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan refers to the created situation


 Hello dear compatriots. Today is Armenia's Independence Day, and I have already issued a message on this occasion.

At this moment, I want to share some information with you, because I see that the confusion of information in the media field and social networks is quite large, that is, people are trying to find all kinds of information, but they do not find it, and in the absence of this information, certain vacuum emerges, which is being filled with misinformation.

First, I want to talk about what happened in Nagorno-Karabakh, about yesterday’s ceasefire. Basically, what happened? Since the ceasefire was established, at least to the best of our knowledge, the units of the Defense Army continue to remain where they were at the time of the ceasefire. The same, respectively, applies to the armed forces of Azerbaijan. And according to our information, today, unfortunately, an incident took place near Stepanakert.

In general, the ceasefire regime is maintained. Of course, there are also some violations in some places. But, in general, it is maintained. I am emphasizing this information because I saw that there are reports that Azerbaijani troops are in Stepanakert, etc., and so on. There is no such thing. Of course, there are certain communication difficulties and complications, as far as I have heard from our colleagues in Nagorno-Karabakh, there are also certain problems on the roads to Martakert and Martuni, but, in general, the situation is stable.

I have to say it again, because it is understandably one of the issues of our biggest attention. reports of mass casualties among the civilian population simply do not correspond to reality. In other words, what was reported in the official news feed is the real information, and the information beyond that is not correct, it is not verified, at least as of now we do not have any such information. This is very important.

I want to say the following: please don't forget for a minute that on the first day of the attack against Nagorno-Karabakh, I said from this hall during my live broadcast that one of the goals of this process is to immerse Armenia into military operations, aimed to create chaos in Armenia and the fact that a ceasefire has been established in Nagorno Karabakh, this does not mean that these goals are no longer on the agenda of the people who brought it to the agenda.

I want to emphasize again a very important thing, that the Republic of Armenia did not participate in the discussion of the terms of the ceasefire established in Nagorno-Karabakh. In other words, we were not a party to the discussion of the terms of that document. We were aware of the processes that such a process was taking place, but we did not participate in it. And I have again expressed my bewilderment about that process in the sense that it mentions the withdrawal of the troops, units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia from Nagorno Karabakh, in the conditions when we said that the Republic of Armenia does not have such units in Nagorno Karabakh, the Republic of Armenia has no army in Nagorno Karabakh.

The process of the ceasefire negotiations was carried out by the representatives of the peacekeeping troops of the Russian Federation with the authorities or representatives of Nagorno Karabakh, because, as far as I know, all decisions were made by the extended composition of high-ranking representatives of Nagorno Karabakh: the parliamentary leadership, the government, I even know and it has been published that also former leaders of Nagorno Karabakh participated in decision-making.

And this is important to note. I assume that they made the decision based on the situation on the ground. Of course, the situation is more understandable on the ground than from afar.

As for the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, information has spread that the Republic of Armenia has banned or closed the citizens of Nagorno Karabakh who want to move to Armenia, so that this does not happen. I want to make it very clear that, first of all, we all know that Lachin Corridor has been closed for 10 months, since December. During all this period and at this moment, the Armenian roads leading to Lachin Corridor have not been closed for a single minute and are still not closed.

This is a very important point, in the sense that nothing like that has happened. Moreover, at the beginning of this week, I gave an instruction to form a working group for meeting displaced persons and possible groups of refugees from Nagorno Karabakh, accommodate them, ensure their living conditions. We did not announce this, and we discussed different scenarios: what could happen, what group could come, etc., and so on. We have even booked several hotel rooms, we have prepared several tens of thousands of accommodations. All this has been done, and I want you to pay attention that it was done earlier this week, because when the process started, it was clear that this could be one of the scenarios.

But on the other hand, dear compatriots, I want to speak very openly, directly and honestly on this topic. In my speeches of the previous period, I constantly accused Azerbaijan of trying to subject Nagorno Karabakh to ethnic cleansing. In other words, we have been making this accusation against Azerbaijan for a long time. And now, when I analyze the situation, I apologize a thousand times, but I get the impression that there are forces who want to carry out the plan to subject Nagorno Karabakh to ethnic cleansing so that Azerbaijan, so to speak, has no reason to be blamed. In other words, it could say look, Armenia, the Republic of Armenia, the people of Armenia, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh themselves decided that no Armenian should stay in Nagorno-Karabakh, they decided and left.

This is a very dangerous talk, but on the other hand, of course, being and living in a safe place for our compatriots in Nagorno Karabakh is one of our responsibilities. Yesterday, Tigran Khachatryan reported to me that preparations were made to accommodate approximately 40,000 families, but we do not want to talk about this. Why don't we want to talk about this? I want to be very honest and clear, because we believe that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh should live in their homes, in their homeland, in dignified and safe conditions.

Today, at this moment, our assessment is that there is no direct threat to the civilian population of Nagorno Karabakh. Moreover, we also know that there are around 1200-1300 citizens and children in the headquarters of the peacekeeping troops of the Russian Federation, as they announced today, whom they take care of. And, of course, you know that we are ready to take the possible measures, the problem lies in the Lachin Corridor being closed. You know that our humanitarian cargo is waiting in Kornidzor. But I also want to say that we have information that the yesterday more than 10 thousand people were invited to the Stepanakert airport, they were told to come because it is possible that they will be transferred to the Republic of Armenia, then they were photographed and vide recorded, after which they were told: the Republic of Armenia does not allow you to move to the Republic of Armenia. Then those photos were published.

It is obvious to me that this is being done to cause internal political upheaval and chaos in Armenia. I look you straight in the eye and say the following, summing up what I said. First, from the very first hours of Azerbaijan's attack on Nagorno-Karabakh, the Deputy Prime Minister received an instruction from me to take action, to concentrate resources to manage the possible flows of citizens and settle people, regulate their food, living, healthcare, and hygiene issues. We did not announce it because I already said that the Republic of Armenia does not pursue a policy of depopulation of Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan is pursuing that policy. And we should not appear in a position under emotions where Azerbaijan will implement the policy of ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh by the hands of Armenia. This is a very important nuance, which I want to draw your attention to. But what will happen now? This is the important thing. What will happen in Nagorno Karabakh and what are the theoretical possibilities that the people of Nagorno Karabakh will be able to live in their homes with dignity and safely? The peacekeepers of the Russian Federation continue to be in Nagorno-Karabakh and ensuring the safety of the civilian population is their direct responsibility. Secondly, you know that the meeting of the representatives of Nagorno Karabakh with the representatives of Azerbaijan took place today in Yevlakh, and an agreement was reached to hold these meetings regularly. Our colleagues from Nagorno-Karabakh have not yet released official information about the meeting, but Azerbaijan, at least in its official message, is trying to create the impression that the processes are proceeding in a positive direction. Of course, this may be somehow linked with the meeting of the UN Security Council to be held today, where the situation in Nagorno Karabakh will be discussed. You know that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan is in New York. He will participate in the session and present our positions. And I think that the great, very great international attention that today is focused on Nagorno Karabakh and the international trend of condemning the military actions of Azerbaijan also provides an opportunity for us to ensure the peaceful, dignified, safe life of our compatriots in Nagorno Karabakh in their homes. And I want to tell you about my conversation with our colleagues from Nagorno-Karabakh regarding this topic. I repeat, after I gave the Deputy Prime Minister the appropriate instruction to prepare the possible reception of our compatriots in the Republic of Armenia, I have said that I think evacuation should not be plan A in this situation, and it shouldn’t even be plan B, but it should definitely be plan C, so that, I repeat, it should not suddenly turn out that we are carrying out ethnic cleansing with our own hands, completely removing the responsibility and guilt of that action from Azerbaijan. We are doing it this way because our assessment is that there is no direct threat to the civilian population, especially in the conditions of a ceasefire. Of course, there are citizens who have been displaced from their homes, but in our international contacts, we are raising the issue of their return to their homes. But I repeat, depending on the assessment of the situation, so to speak, plan C can immediately turn into plan A. However, we must record that at the moment the Lachin Corridor continues to be closed by Azerbaijan, the exit from the Lachin Corridor and the entrance to the Lachin Corridor have never been closed by the Republic of Armenia.

Next, as I already said, I think it is very transparent and here all attentive citizens can see who, from where and by what means some forces are trying to cause upheavals in Armenia. I also want to say that it was at the beginning of the week when the first cases of attacks on the police occurred, a criminal case was initiated under the article of mass riots, also calls for violence, also calls to overthrow the constitutional order with violence, and there are several dozen people arrested and detained over these charges. The legal system of the Republic of Armenia is fully functioning, but I want to draw your attention to one detail. We must not leave out of our attention that the goal of using violence for some forces is to force the law enforcement bodies of Armenia or to put them in such a situation that they, for example, lose their self-control, use disproportionate force, causing all kinds of developments. Don't you remember that people were talking about bloodshed just 7, 8 or 10 days ago, sorry, maybe I'm mixing up the chronology, but I think you know what speeches I'm referring to. During the elections of the Yerevan Council of Elders, when we were highlighting sovereignty and independence, I noticed that for some it was a pre-election trick, so to speak. And I wish that perception were right in the sense that, unfortunately, subsequent events showed that it was not a pre-election trick at all. And what we said in that context about the struggle for sovereignty, independence, everything was justified. And the context with the outside world is as follows: now, for example, there is a lot of talk in the Russian press about that for a long time the Republic of Armenia has been trying to place the responsibility for its own failures on Russia. We do not place the responsible for any of our failures on anyone. There is a clear tripartite statement of November 9, 2020, where, for example, the Lachin Corridor was to be fully under the control of the peacekeeping force of the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation peacekeeping force was to guarantee the safety of the civilian population. And we have consistently, you know, since a year and a half ago, started to raise the issue that the processes are not going the right way. We are not doing anything dishonest. Obviously, we bear our share of responsibility, but on the other hand, I don't think that we all should turn a blind eye to the failures that the peacekeeping troops of the Russian Federation had in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Last year, you might remember the incident when the representatives of the peacekeeping troops convinced the resident of Martakert, sitting in his house, I don't know for what reason - propaganda or for what purpose, I don't know, I don't know the logic, they took him to the field and said that we guarantee your safety, you can plow the field with your tractor, an Azerbaijani sniper killed the tractor driver at the wheel, the peacekeeper was sitting next to him. In other words, there are many things that we didn't want to raise, talk about, understanding that the situation is complicated, it's not like everything and every corner is controlled by the peacekeepers. But one, two, three, four, five, ten and, essentially, this last outbreak. Why did it happen?

I'm sorry, if the peacekeepers could agree on a ceasefire, why couldn't they agree before the attack so as to prevent the attack on Nagorno Karabakh? After all, everyone was raising the alarm about it, and we were also saying that Nagorno-Karabakh is surrounded by Azerbaijani military equipment. Why was this mediating activity not done then? These are questions that need to be answered.

Or, on the other hand, today the representatives of a well-known party are attacking people in the streets, but they don't give an answer. The chairman of the Nagorno-Karabakh National Assembly is the representative of their party, which participated and supported these terms of the ceasefire. Are they going to give explanations for this?

In other words, I'm sorry, sometimes you get the impression that yes, just as the Karabakh issue was used for internal political intrigues by circles known to you for a long time, from 1997-1998, the same is being done now. Or what does it mean that organized groups of students and athletes are trying to organize mass riots in Yerevan? According to our information, one of them has links with the son of one of the former leaders of Armenia, and the others are students in the city of Yerevan who have links with the high-ranking circles of Nagorno-Karabakh. But no matter who they are, the reaction is going to be very tough and the reaction is tough. I understand that our citizens want a tougher and more prompt response. There will be a tough and prompt response. But there are lines that they want those lines to be crossed, they want the government to shed blood on the streets of Yerevan. This is their goal. We will act toughly, but in accordance with the law, in accordance with the Steel Mandate. But we love our compatriots, even those who curse us, we cannot pour a torrent of hatred on people's heads. We can't. The law enforcement system is in place, the legal system is functioning, arrests are underway, arrests will continue to take place. It is very important that the guilty will be held accountable, but there will be no chaos. In other words, there may be people in this turmoil who will later be found to have no criminality in their actions and, of course, no further legal action will be taken against them.

But, in general, my call and the call of the government of the Republic of Armenia remains the same, especially in this emotional and complicated situation, to keep calm and not to cross the lines of the law, because in case of crossing the lines of the law, proportional but tough countermeasures will be applied. All relevant bodies have already received instructions from me in this regard.

As today's summary, of course it is very important to listen to the impressions of the Nagorno-Karabakh partners regarding the meeting in Yevlakh and also to follow the session of the UN Security Council. In any case, it should be noted that this time everything seems to be very clear regarding the assessments of the international community. Although, on the other hand, it is a small consolation.

Dear compatriots, first of all, we should have learned during this long period that we should be able to limit the influence of fakes ourselves. This is the first. In other words, not to submit to the obviously false information, the purpose of which is another thing: to create chaos in Armenia, to make believe that the Republic of Armenia, we are unable to have a state, come, take care of us, another state, through their proxies and emissaries. We must not allow this and we will not allow it. This is the first. Secondly, let's be careful, so that with our care for our beloved compatriots, we don't allow anyone to carry out ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh by our hands, so that afterwards they do not say that Armenia, the Armenians decided that they should do it that way, we could not keep anyone forcefully.

But, of course, I repeat that the situation is being assessed promptly and plan C can become plan A at any moment, and at this moment plan A is that the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh should live safely and with dignity in their homes. And the residents of those settlements, who were displaced, should return to their homes as soon as possible.

Dear compatriots,

I responded to almost all of today's questions hanging in the air, at least those that I considered necessary to respond to at this moment. And as agreed, as necessary, I or any other representative of the government or government agencies will provide you with appropriate information so that you have a full and true understanding of the processes taking place.

Of course, it should also be noted that the situation may change, but we will also inform you about the changes in the situation.

Thank you.

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