On the eve of the 30th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan touted the so-called “unblocking of regional communications”—opening borders—as “extremely important.”
“I consider the opening of regional communications extremely important, according to the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020 and the trilateral statement January 11, 2021. I think that the solution to this problem is very important in the context of our discussion, because the opening of regional communications will finally allow Armenia to overcome the 30-year blockade, which means a significant change in the investment climate in Armenia, and transformation in Armenia’s economic structure, so that the country and the state becomes more resilient and competitive,’’ Pashinyan said Monday at a business forum in Yerevan attended by Russian business representatives.
Similar sentiments were voiced by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk, who said that opening of regional borders would enhance Russia-Armenia trade relations.
Pashinyan took the opportunity to also tout himself as the catalyst for such a transformation in the region, and by advancing his “peace” agenda, he claimed that through the parliamentary elections in June the people of Armenia cemented the “era of peaceful development” in the region.
The prime minister was making the statement with the backdrop of increasing tensions on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan, where a more than four-month standoff not only threatens the lives of civilians living in the border regions, but also jeopardizes Armenia’s sovereignty.
“Every day incidents take place based on which it can be concluded that, apparently, there are forces that want to show that an era of peaceful development in our region is not possible,” said Pashinyan.
“However, the Government of the Republic of Armenia, clearly realizing the difficult challenge it is facing, will be consistent, and will lead the Republic of Armenia on this path, which I must state, will require strong will and prudence,” Pashinyan told the Russian business community.