Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday announced that Armenia has submitted new proposals to Azerbaijan on a draft peace treaty, which he said Yerevan was ready to sign “at any moment.”
Without elaborating on the details of the document, Pashinyan said that the proposals were also presented to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries.
“We are working on the draft with the following logic: to get a document ready to be signed at any moment,” Pashinyan said. “It’s clear that the document should be acceptable to Azerbaijan, as well, and we do hope that the progress achieved during the three stages of negotiations can be developed further.”
“Our vision is that the document should include agreements that are logical and contain a system of checks-and-balances that will rule out any scenario that could disrupt lasting and stable peace,” he added, saying that it was his hope that the signing of the document does not lead to war.
Earlier this week Armenia’s National Security Chief Armen Grigoryan said that any peace document should contain international monitoring and mediation mechanism for future discussion between Artsakh Armenians and Azerbaijan. Official Baku slammed this statement and accused Yerevan of interfering in its domestic policies.
Turning his attention to the ongoing Azerbaijani blockade of Artsakh, Pashinyan told his cabinet that the humanitarian crisis resulting from the closure of the Lachin Corridor—now it its 67th day—has deteriorated because of the energy blockade, which he said has created an environmental crisis.
“Yesterday, on the 66th day of the illegal blockade of Lachin corridor, Azerbaijan restored natural gas supply to Nagorno Karabakh, only to cut it off again two hours later. The last time Azerbaijan shut down the natural gas supply pipeline of Nagorno Karabakh was on February 7, which it had opened on January 29. Electrical energy supply into Nagorno Karabakh is blocked since January 9, 2023,” added Pashinyan.
“The illegal blockade of Lachin corridor has led to a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh, and the humanitarian crisis has deteriorated further as a result of the energy blockade, and simultaneously an environmental crisis is happening because in order to heat their apartments the population of Nagorno Karabakh is forced to use wood, for which forests are logged. This is an undisputed proof exposing the made up environmental motives of the blockade of Lachin corridor, and that the actions of Azerbaijan have one goal – to complete their policy of subjecting the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh to ethnic cleansing,” Pashinyan said.
He added that if so far the international community was treating this claim by Armenia skeptically, then now this is becoming more and more obvious.
Pashinyan noted that it is no coincidence that in the past three months the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention issued three statements on the illegal blockade of Lachin corridor and the rhetoric of the Azerbaijani leadership.
“In one of these statements, published on January 18, 2023, the Lemkin Institute asked world leaders to treat the threat of genocide facing the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh seriously. This warning must become dire with every day across the world and the efforts made in this direction must be continual,” Pashinyan said.