Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday was forced to confirm yet another deal with Azerbaijan that was being kept under wraps until an opposition news site published the contents of the leaked document.
This latest document that was initiated by Russia outlines the process of delineation of borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a point being pressed by Moscow as part of its agenda that has seen the surrender of positions of Artsakh to Azerbaijan, as well as created a strong hold for Russia, via its peacekeeping forces, in Karabakh and the Caucasus.
During a cabinet meeting on Thursday Pashinyan admitted the existence of the document, the details of which were published in Armlur.am after opposition activist and Armenia’s former Ambassador to the Vatican, Mikael Minasyan teased the document in a Facebook post that contained an image of the document, with its details redacted. Minasyan, who is former president Serzh Sarkisian’s son-in-law and is currently in hiding because he is facing criminal charges in Armenia, said that the document will have severe consequences for Armenia.
This revelation prompted the opposition parties represented in parliament to call an emergency session of the National Assembly to discuss the revelations and to mandate that parliament must have the final say in an agreement being signed.
“Once again a document has been drafted behind the Armenian people’s back, and neither parliament members nor, I think, most government members know anything about its content,” Edmon Marukyan, the leader of the parliamentary opposition Bright Armenia Party, told reporters before the emergency legislative session.
The document in questions mandates the creation of a commission by May 31 to look into the demarcation process and present its findings and course of action by June 30. It does not contain specifics about the actual border demarcation.
During the emergency parliament session, Pashinyan told lawmakers about the existence of the document saying, “I want to assure you that there is and there can be no secret appendices to it.” He confirmed that Armenia will agreed to the formation of commission on if Baku withdrawal its forces from Armenia, whose borders have been breached by Azerbaijani forces who last week advanced into the sovereign territory of Armenia.
Pashinyan confirmed that Yerevan will agree to the creation of the demarcation commission only if Baku withdraws its forces from the Armenian side of the border. “Our position remains that Azerbaijani troops must leave Armenian territory without preconditions,” he said.
Below is the English translation of the document that was published by Armlur.am.
We, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin announce the following.
In the framework of establishing peace and ensuring security in the region, which is based on the statements of the leaders of the three countries on November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021, a joint Commission on Delimitation is established between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, followed by demarcation with the following process:
- The Governments of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia shall establish delegations within the framework of the Commission by May 31, 2021.
- The Government of the Russian Federation shall establish a national delegation by May 31, 2021 to carry out consultative work within the framework of the Commission.
- The delegations will be headed by official representatives appointed according to the laws of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia.
- The commission will hold its first session by June 30, 2020, as a result of which the main directions and the sequence of work will be formed, as well as the composition of the expert groups will be approved.
- The expert groups will present a series of tasks within a month after the first session of the Commission.
- All issues related to the safe implementation of the Declaration and the work of the Commission should be addressed only through diplomatic and political means, based on a tripartite agreement.