Azerbaijan has adopted a policy of continuous aggression against Armenia and the issue must become part of the international community’s discussion, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said during an online press conference on Tuesday. He also blasted Baku for pursuing what he called “territorial claims” from Armenia.
“Azerbaijan is apparently making territorial claims on Armenia,” Pashinyan said. “What does the ‘Zangezur Corridor’ mean? What does ‘Eastern Zangezur’ mean? Who has coined these terms and what do they mean? What does the ‘corridor logic’ mean?” Pashinyan said referring to demands made by Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev to open a “corridor” linking mainland Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan through Armenia.
Pashinyan’s harsh grandstanding comes days before he is scheduled to meet with Aliyev and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Sochi on Friday, in talks that were also announced on Tuesday.
“We have said on many occasions and will reiterate that we are not going to discuss the any issue within the ‘corridor logic,’” Pashinyan added, saying however, “that this does not mean Armenia is rejectin the agenda of opening of regional communications,” a stipulation of the November 9, 2020 statement.
He said that given that Armenia has been blockaded for 30 years [by Turkey and Azerbaijan], it is “perhaps more interested in the opening of regional communication.” Pashinyan claimed that Baku was advancing the “corridor” agenda in order to abort the process altogether.
Pashinyan also called on the international community to take this matter more seriously, as the belligerent rhetoric from Azerbaijan’s president, who continually asserts that his country “will do what it wants” is bordering on “international hooliganism.”
“Azerbaijan pursues an aggressive policy. Azerbaijan has always pursued an aggressive policy, our task is to stop Azerbaijan’s aggressive policy by using all international levers. By and large, nothing has changed in Azerbaijan’s policy in the last 15 years, and it has become more aggressive after the war. We must use Azerbaijan’s aggression against itself,” Pashinyan said.
“International mechanisms must be used against Azerbaijan,” said Pashinyan, who added that he will highlight these aggressive policies during the Democracy Summit next month. Armenia was invited to President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy, while Azerbaijan and Turkey were not.
“This is an attack on Armenia’s sovereignty, statehood, independence and democracy by Azerbaijan and the countries that encourage it. We are going to pursue this issue on all possible international platforms,” warned Pashinyan.
He also claimed that if there were an agreement to be signed during his upcoming meeting with Aliyev, it will be a document that expresses intent—a commission—to begin the delimitation and demarcation of borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan announced last week that Yerevan was in favor of new proposals presented by Moscow on the border demarcation issue. On Tuesday, he told reporters that Russia’s proposals were not much different from previous ones.
“When we say that this proposal is acceptable for Armenia, we are not saying that it is 100 percent in line with Armenia’s positions,” Pashinyan said. “We want to demonstrate that we are willing to find solutions.”
“There is an impression that a document will be signed on specific demarcation. Such a thing is not possible,” said Pashinyan who reiterated that the only agreement that may be signed is the formation of a commission to address the demarcation and delimitation process.
Pashinyan also said the delimitation and demarcation of borders, Artsakh and regional unblocking are separate issues that need different approaches and methods of discussion.
“Is the issue of Artsakh that of a territory? As we understand it, it is not an issue of territory. The issue of Artsakh is an issue of rights and has nothing to do with territory,” Pashinyan added.