Pashinyan called Shushi ‘A Desolate and Grim Place’
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday rejected a claim made by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who told Parliament that the surrender of Shushi had part of the negotiations since 2016.
“At no stage of the peace talks has there ever been a discussion of surrendering the city of Shushi,” the foreign ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan said in a Facebook post, refuting Pashinyan’s claim.
“The same logic was always at play about ending the war: the surrender of the territories including Shushi without the determination [of Artsakh’s] status,” Pashinyan told parliament.
“This was the case before the war. This has been the case since 2016, and the April War was the last indication, with the only difference that this time it was no longer possible to stop the war with any verbal statement or commitment,” added Pashinyan.
The prime minister appeared in parliament Monday to respond to lawmakers’ questions about the “end of war” agreement.
Instead, he presented an often disjointed defense for his decision to sign the agreement, which stipulated the surrender of Shushi, among other Artsakh territories.
While he appeared to take responsibility for the surrender of Shushi, Pashinyan quickly turned his attention to his predecessors offering criticism of the way successive governments had treated Shushi and making the claim that the city’s eventual surrender had been discussed in pre-war peace talks.
“Shushi is a desolate and grim city,” said Pashinyan. “If Shushi was so important to everyone, why was it left in that condition and not developed?”