Aremian PM Says His Country’s External Security Remains ‘Unresolved’

YEREVAN — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says the issue of his country’s external security remains “unresolved,” calling the situation “a major challenge for the country.”

Pashinian told a press conference in Yerevan on March 14 that an ongoing exchange of peace proposals between Armenia and Azerbaijan indicates some progress in the Yerevan-Baku peace talks, but stressed that the “further we move, the more fundamental problems we face.”

“Azerbaijan is trying to outline territorial demands and intentions toward Armenia, which is a red line for us,” Pashinian said, emphasizing that the possibility of military escalation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh is very high.

“The implementation of the future peace deal must be guaranteed. Proposals that may solve the issue are possible,” Pashinian added.

Pashinian said that during his recent talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin he stressed that “there are problems” in the part of Nagorno-Karabakh that is under the control of Russian peacekeepers.

The peacekeepers were deployed in the disputed region after Baku, as a result of a 2020 war, regained control over a large chunk of the breakaway region and seven districts around it that were under ethnic Armenian control for three decades.

Pashinian’s press conference came eight days after the latest deadly clashes between Nagorno-Karabakh separatists and Azerbaijani troops. Several lives were lost on both sides.

Talking about Yerevan’s decision last week not to seek the post of the deputy Secretary General of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which also comprises Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, Pashinian said Armenia continues to work with the group.

Armenia has voiced dissatisfaction with the CSTO’s unwillingness to intervene in what Yerevan claims have been several Azerbaijani incursions into Armenian territory since May 2021.

Azerbaijan denies the claims noting that there is an absence of delimitation and demarcation for the nearly 500-kilometer-long border between the two South Caucasus nations.

Pashinian said that Armenia is not moving toward quitting the CSTO, but instead it is the “CSTO that is quitting Armenia willingly or unwillingly.”

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036