No doubt for me and there can be no misreading that I am the number one official responsible for what happened in Artsakh, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said during an online press conference.
“I understand that I will stand the trial of the people. But for the judge – the people in this case – to make conclusions – it must be aware of all circumstances of the case. Therefore, it’s important to listen to all – the soldiers, the opposition, the government,” Pashinyan said.
He said that as of May 2018 [before he came to power] the negotiations on Nagorno Karabakh had crossed the point of irreversibility and the issue had stepped into a phase of “territories for nothing.”
According to the Prime Minister, his policy since has been aimed at changing that logic.
“Actually now we can say that, unfortunately, we have not succeeded, because we faced a situation of an international consensus that the territories must be handed over to Azerbaijan without any precondition. Whole our policy has been aimed at trying to change that logic, but we have not succeeded,” PM Pashinyan stated.
“I couldn’t put up with that and have done my best to improve the resisting ability of Armenia, to raise the combat readiness of the armed forces,” he said.
“We are accused of opposing things. We are accused of signing a paper to cede certain territories and accused of failure to sign that paper earlier,” the Prime Minister said. “We are therefore accused of both ceding and not ceding lands.”
“The responsibility first of all lies with me, but to bear that responsibility, I think it necessary for all circumstances to be explained to the society,” he reiterated.
The Prime Minister said “we must analyze and form the agenda on the situation today, focusing on the status of Nagorno Karabakh.”
“The issue of status should be put in the basis of negotiations, as should the communication, humanitarian and transportation issues,” he emphasized.
The Prime Minister noted that there are a number of provisions in the trilateral statement that need to be interpreted and discussed “and we will try to call the best proposals to life.”
“Could we avoid war? Yes, we could, had we agreed to hand over seven regions including Shushi. But was that the policy we wanted to pursue? No, it wasn’t. Artsakh’s Defense Army, Armenia’s Government and Armed Forces decided to accept the challenge, which unfortunately did not produce the result we wanted,” PM Pashinyan stated.
“The events of July showed we were ready to fight against Azerbaijan, but the involvement of Turkey and mercenary terrorists were the main cause of our failure. Could we prevent this development. Yes, we could had we agreed to cede the territories, without the status of Nagorno Karabakh. That’s why, we tried to fight and try to ensure more favorable conditions,” Pahsinyan stated.