Analysts exclude change of Armenia’s political course in case of coup

Caucasian Knot
May 8 2022
Analysts exclude change of Armenia's political course in case of coup
Armenia follows integration processes with Russia; and in case of revolution, new authorities will have to follow the same policy. However, the likelihood of a change of power in the country is minimal, since the Armenian opposition is fragmented and has no alternatives to the figure of the Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, analysts have noted.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that since April 25, the Armenian opposition has been holding protests demanding Pashinyan's resignation after he had agreed to "lower the bar" on the Karabakh issue. He also stated that he could have avoided casualties in the 2020 autumn war if he had surrendered territories.

The probability of change of power in Armenia is almost zero, but if the opposition still manages to come to power, it will have no fundamental differences with the approach of the Pashinyan team to Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, Akop Badalyan, an observer, believes.

"The West is even more involved in Southern Caucasus' processes … It has also become difficult for the pro-Russian Pashinyan, who is trying to benefit from the West-Russia contradictions," Saro Saroyan, a political analyst, has pointed out.

Russia and Azerbaijan are putting pressure on Armenia; and the pro-Russian opposition will not be able to go against Russia and Vladimir Putin, Armen Vardanyan, a political analyst, has noted.

He has added that Armenia doesn't refuse to sign a peace treaty, but puts forward some counter conditions and protracts the process until the special operation in Ukraine is over.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 7, 2022 at 09:04 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

See earlier reports:
Several hundred women come out to Yerevan streets, Armenian IC announces arrest of four oppositionists, Forty-eight protesters detained in Yerevan.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan Source: CK correspondent

Art creating action: Artist Nairi Afrikyan transmits a new perspective of the Armenian Genocide

“Memory is still alive,” new media, 49.2 W x 78.7 H x 2 D in., Nairi Afrikyan, United Kingdom

London-based artist Nairi Afrikyan understands the implicit importance of utilizing one’s own tools of imagination and creativity to drive a new perception to our surroundings. After graduating from the renowned University Arts London: Central Saint Martins, Afrikyan’s integral mission within his artworks has always been transparent: to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide and deliver new perspectives, injected with the beauty and richness of Armenian culture. 

Afrikyan takes this ideology “through artistic strategies based on the persistence of the traumatic past in the present; between what has happened and what could be comprehended; between an event and its reinterpretation.” He considers himself “an artist for a cause and part of the legacy of the Armenian people who have been fighting for the world to recognize the Armenian Genocide for over 100 years.” 

This combination changes our narrative. Armenians cannot progress by living for the pain, but we must use the pain to ignite the evolution of our country and people. Though it is still a battle to get the global recognition and the media attention that is deserved, it will not be a barrier in our success. This is accurately delivered in Afrikyan’s work through “the manipulation of materials (fiber, glass, plywood, felt, mixed media) and the deployment of visual metaphors within a strategy of non-linear, fragmented and overlapping narratives creates an interruption, a gap that complicates the narrative of melancholia and opens a point of entry into a world where they become somewhat new and different.” 

“From Sea to Sea Armenia,” Nairi Afrikyan, United Kingdom

“It is a conversation with the past of highest historical significance,” explains Afrikyan. “It is a very difficult journey to the past synthesized through the context/content of my artistic emotional point of view. It is a reaction to loss of an unprecedented scale that every Armenian in one way or another has been affected and has their personal story linked to, often untold.”

The Armenian-born artist is at the epicenter of the community in the UK. Afrikyan is a jack of all trades. He’s an ordained deacon serving the Armenian Church UK since 2011 and volunteers every week in the community. His passion and love for his country and people is clear. Afrikyan also serves the country that he is now living in, working for the UK’s National Health Service as Ward Administrator. Each of his many roles all have one common denominator  helping others.

“Remnants of the Ruins,” Nairi Afrikyan, United Kingdom

Admirers of Afrikyan’s artwork can become struck with an intense and thought-provoking mental progression. There are so many layers, embedded interpretations and historic references. There are simultaneous feelings of loss and hope and mixed emotions that symbolize inherited trauma and the resilience of those that can continue the legacy of our people. 

His artistic practice is based on the exploration of using images and other mediums of documentations which showcase the contrasting experiences of a historical moment, but share the same underlying foundations of deprivation. Afrikyan says he began to “realize the compulsion of responding to the notion of a historical event by reflecting and visualizing the traumatic happenings contemporary to the specific event, the Armenian Genocide, a compulsion to preserve loss by suspending and controlling time through space, suggestion and allusion. The realization is processed in the context of my personal emotions, referring back to actuality, preserved in photographic or any other form of documentation.” 

“It opens up a possibility and provides space in large sense of it for the viewers to reflect on the Armenian Genocide,” says Afrikyan. “It is an analytic approach which refers to a permanent state of questioning, of transformations, and an endless probing of appearances. The focus in this practice is to question and reconsider the impulse and especially the objective of representing the lost generation.”

The arts hold a crucial power to transport people to another dimension and frame of thought, something that Afrikyan devoutly embodies through his pieces. This power is a force for change and a chance to be part of an evolving society amid our many setbacks. As Armenians, we live with a never-ending ache combined with masses of dignity for the Armenian Genocide. The narrative must evolve to ensure our country and people flourish. The pain will never change, but the way we tell our story can.

“Reaction to Loss,” painting, 53.1 W x 78.7 H x 2 D in., Nairi Afrikyan, United Kingdom

Lara Bazzoui is studying fashion journalism at the University Arts London: London College of Fashion. She runs her own upcycling business called Bibi Bazz, where she regenerates damaged and deadstock sneakers into bags. Lara is also the public relations director for ACYO London.

AW: “Lowering the bar” is the nightmare that defines this chapter

The citizens of Artsakh are like most people in this world. They want a good life for their children, a chance to make a decent living and to prepare for a prosperous future. They dream about their aspirations. They don’t dream about murder, oppression, betrayal and capitulation. Those are the nightmares that disrupt the dreams of good people in this world like the Artsakhtsis. This is a common thread that runs between Armenians living in Artsakh and anywhere in the diaspora. The major difference between us is that we have a tendency to lapse into taking our freedom for granted while they wake up every morning praying for that gift. While our college-age youth enjoy the privilege of advanced education, many of our Artsakh youth serve the nation on the front. They grow up far too fast, and far too many never see the joy of an extended life. Our brave brethren have been living on the edge every day as lawless border attacks continue despite a clear indication of the identity of the aggressor (that would be Azerbaijan) and the presence of peacekeepers (that would be Russia). In addition to the outrageous ambivalence of the world powers to the abuse these people have endured for decades, they have to listen to humiliating comments from the Armenian government, such as the international community expects us to “lower the bar” on the status of Artsakh, and “for us, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue has never been about territory but rather rights.” In the vernacular of this country, this would be referred to as being thrown under the bus.

We are all incredibly frustrated and confused by these comments. I will not, however, resort to personal insults or negative generalizations. There is plenty of that to go around, and the vast majority of it adds no value. It only builds walls. It is ironic, however, that in only four short years Prime Minister Pashinyan has become the 2022 version of Serzh Sargsyan. The latter lost credibility in 2018 when despite assurances, he chose to stay in power as prime minister under the constitutional revision. Many considered this as a power retention move. The pressure built through a street revolution, and Sargsyan eventually resigned. Say what you will about the third president of Armenia, but at a critical juncture, he chose to resign rather than preside over civil strife. Doubters will say he had no choice, but I believe he understood the reality and deep down some patriotic vein was struck. If he had resisted, think of what the outcome would have been on the ground. March 1 would have looked like a day in the park. Four years later and the current prime minister finds himself on the defensive. It is interesting to note that in both cases the leader’s party carried the majority of the National Assembly and maintained political control. The Republican party of Sargsyan had a majority control of the NA for several years either outright or through coalitions. Pashinyan’s party has control today despite a few defections, and in addition has had the opportunity to influence the replacement of former President Armen Sarkissian, who resigned suddenly under questionable circumstances. Political control has not been in question in 2018 or 2022. The Velvet Revolution forced the resignation of Sargsyan, and the constitutional process led to the rise of Pashinyan. The opposition and public outcry have grown stronger in recent weeks against Pashinyan, but it remains to be seen whether this will be a replay of 2018.

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan pictured inside the National Assembly on the day opposition deputies demanded his resignation, May 4, 2022

Pashinyan’s public comments to the press and the National Assembly on lowering the bar on Artsakh expectations were both curious and controversial. They have bolstered the perception that the territorial and sovereignty campaign for Artsakh will be abandoned in the ongoing negotiations and replaced with human and cultural rights advocacy. The prime minister was careful not to attribute this statement to his own view but rather the pressure of the “international community.” What do we owe the international community after they watched the carnage unfold in 2020 as if they had purchased box seats? This is the same group that rewarded a serial oppressor with genocidal instincts by never assigning accountability to their countless infractions. Assuming we take this at face value, comments like this are dangerous because they can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and many will simply apply it to their preconceived notions. Those who do not support the prime minister and are seeking his resignation believe that this is evidence of his plan to capitulate on sovereignty by deferring to what will be supported by the international community. Is this the view of the OSCE Minsk Group that still has the responsibility for the final status but has little to show for its diplomacy? Has Russia revealed to Pashinyan that sovereignty or an alignment with Armenia is out? Has Aliyev declared that he will attack again if Armenia does not sign a peace treaty that equates to a surrender? The Armenian people, especially those in Artsakh, are left to apply speculation and interpretation to these comments, which only raises anxiety. Can you imagine living in Artsakh with such a sacrifice and being represented in this manner? Pashinyan has sought to clarify with wording that is more focused on Artsakh as an entity, but the first salvo always has the lasting impact. Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan made an even bolder statement when he stated that for the government of Armenia, the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) issue has not been about territory, but rights. Simply incredible! Is this Armenia’s way of saying we relinquish any territorial rights to Artsakh? After all, they have already said they accept the premise of mutual territorial integrity. After almost 35 years of the struggle, we have not once heard the hallmark phrase of “self-determination” from the government in these negotiations. What are you negotiating if the core principle of 35 years has been abandoned? It is obvious that there is tension and outright disagreement between the government of Artsakh, President Harutyunyan and Armenia. Although the leaders of Artsakh are careful to support the Russian peacekeeping process and Russia’s role, they have been clear about their objective of sovereignty and a solution free of any governance relation with Azerbaijan. Artsakh Foreign Minister David Babayan recently stated, “Any attempt to incorporate Artsakh into Azerbaijan would lead to bloodshed and the destruction of Artsakh…and eventually Armenia.” Babayan has always been a clear thinking and effective communicator in his years of service to the Artsakh government. Recently, the notion of proposing a referendum to join the Russian Federation has gained some visibility. Advocates view it as an alternative to annihilation especially in light of the signals from Armenia. To the people of Artsakh, one matter is clear: any relationship under the control of Azerbaijan is unacceptable.

There is no compliance process that will ensure the lives of the Armenians.

Armenia should be listening to the people of Artsakh if they are going to represent them in these negotiations. The lines of communication have been strained, and this is particularly dangerous when speaking for those not present. Any solution advocated by the Armenian side must recognize the reality that Artsakh Armenians living under any Azerbaijani administration is tantamount to the destruction of Armenians from this historic region and cultural genocide. There is no compliance process that will ensure the lives of the Armenians. There is no need for further evidence. Look at what is going on today in Hadrut or any of the “seven territories” today: ethnic cleansing and cultural destruction. It is Kosovo in the Caucasus. The former was granted sovereignty as an unrecognized enclave when the lives of the population were endangered. Artsakh is an even clearer example given the centuries of indigenous presence, density of the population and the demonstrated ability to create a democratic entity with a market economy. Ceding territorial responsibility to Azerbaijan will end this chapter with atrocities. Discrimination, murder, exodus, deprivation and destruction will be the legacy of those who sign such a “treaty.” It is Nakhichevan, Baku and Sumgait again! Azerbaijan will follow none of the terms outlined to ensure the “rights” of the Armenians. Can we identify one agreement that rogue Azerbaijan has honored? The next one will be their first. Their mentor and older brother Turkey violates the rights of its own citizens on a daily basis and ignores the rights of minorities. The paper it will be written on is worthless to these barbarians whose only purpose is to steal the land and rid themselves of the non-Turkic inhabitants.

There is no lowering of the bar when you reside on the ground floor of the pyramid of life. The ink won’t be dry on the “peace treaty,” and Azerbaijan will begin the economic, cultural and physical assault on the Armenians of Artsakh. Soon we will hear about “Zangezur,” not the absurd “corridor,” but now energized with fresh atrocities, it will be all of Syunik and Sevan. There comes a point when you take a stand. The people of Artsakh understand this and its implications. They do not fear risk; they abhor humiliation. This is the message of those in opposition. Perhaps some of it is about power, but increasingly the message is about survival and preventing atrocities. There is no solution with any governance relationship with Azerbaijan. That will close this chapter with a legacy of abandonment. With survival on the table, odds become less relevant. With Armenians suffering from disunity in 451 AD and an ominous Persian presence, the odds weren’t that good for Vartan. A genocide-ravaged people in 1918 rallied against ridiculous odds to rise from the ashes. An oppressed group in Artsakh without a full military and limited infrastructure prevented a genocide and won their freedom. Now we are afraid to utter the words “self-determination” to criminal oppressors. Are we the same people? The real loss from the 2020 war is not the territory. In our long history, we have lost, and we have won. This is but one chapter of many volumes. What is unacceptable is how “preparing the people for peace” has degraded to a loss of our national dignity. With the thousands who sacrificed and fought for the land, the government can simply state, it was never about the territory. This cannot be who we are. 

Stepan was raised in the Armenian community of Indian Orchard, MA at the St. Gregory Parish. A former member of the AYF Central Executive and the Eastern Prelacy Executive Council, he also served many years as a delegate to the Eastern Diocesan Assembly. Currently , he serves as a member of the board and executive committee of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). He also serves on the board of the Armenian Heritage Foundation. Stepan is a retired executive in the computer storage industry and resides in the Boston area with his wife Susan. He has spent many years as a volunteer teacher of Armenian history and contemporary issues to the young generation and adults at schools, camps and churches. His interests include the Armenian diaspora, Armenia, sports and reading.

Asbarez: Calif. Community College League Honors Dr. Armine Hacopian

Glendale Community College Dr. Armine Hacopian

Every year the Community College League of California honors the enduring dedication and service of California’s community college trustees with the ‘Fulfilling the Trust’ Award, for having persevered continuously in serving students. 

This year, Dr. Armine Hacopian, the President of the Glendale Community College Board was recognized with this prestigious award for having achieved more than two decades of dedicated service and enduring commitment to Glendale Community College.  

CCLC membership is comprised of all 116 California Community Colleges and the elected trustees from each community college district who serve their respective communities. 

In an interview, Dr. Hacopian expressed her appreciation to the CCLC Board for this award and to all those registered voters in Glendale who have voted for her during the past five elections.

“This recognition is significant because I was recognized by my peers who are very closely involved in higher education, and understand the challenges they must overcome as leaders, in order to serve our students and the internal and external constituencies,” said Hacopian.

Dr. Hacopian is a life-long educator with extensive background in education, serving students in pre-k to graduate schools in a-variety of capacities.  Her background includes earning many degrees and credentials and serving as a board member to numerous community based organizations.  She has been honored by multiple organizations and elected officials as well. 

“Serving on the Western Prelacy Board of Regents of Armenian Schools for many years, was one of my most fulfilling leadership roles,” Dr. Hacopian recalled fondly. 
Her years of board leadership as GCC Trustee include many successful benchmarks.  She was unanimously elected by her co-trustees to be the Board President at GCC for five (one-year) terms.

In addition, she helped pass two bond measures (in 2002, for $98,000,000, and in 2016, for $325,000,000) for construction and capital improvements of old buildings which has brought assurances to students that they would be learning and studying in facilities that were geared towards careers for the 21st century.  

The raised funds from the sales of the bonds also would be earmarked for the state-of-the-art science center (being build now), with technology focus, new performing arts center, and an up-to-date athletic facilities as students compete with other community college students to transfer to four year universities.
Along with her co-trustees, Dr. Hacopian worked closely with State Senator Anthony Portantino for GCC to be closed on April 24th (without loosing any State funding) so that students and employees would have the opportunity to participate in April 24th, Genocide Commemoration activities. 
According to Dr. Hacopian, “this action was very important and timely for GCC as 40 percent of the student population is of Armenian background.”

She considers herself to be a bridge-builder who connects ‘social bridges’ between GCC and various organizations.
As the current GCC Board President, Dr. Hacopian encourages students to consider attending GCC while they are still in high school as GCC and GUSD have many dual enrollment programs where students can complete college coursework while still in high school.  

She said that her motto has always been “to lead with service in my heart and student access and success in my mind.”

Russia interested in soonest stabilization in Armenia – Peskov

Public Radio of Armenia
May 5 2022

The developments in Armenia ate the domestic affair of the country, but Moscow is interested in the soonest settlement of the situation, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS.

“This is entirely an internal affair of Armenia,” Peskov said, referring to opposition rallies in the country.

He stressed that Yerevan is an ally of Moscow. “Armenia is our ally, it is our partner in several very important integration formats, Armenia is our great friend,” Peskov said.

“Therefore, of course, we are interested in seeing this period end in Armenia as soon as possible and a period of stability begin again, which will allow us to gradually move towards the implementation of thե trilateral agreements on Karabakh that were finalized with the participation of the President of Russia, as well as develop our bilateral relations, in general,” the Kremlin Spokesman said.

The opposition has been holding protests in Armenia since mid-April, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Sports: Armenian National Championships To Determine National Team For Upcoming IMMAF Events

May 5 2022

(MENAFN- International Mixed Martial Arts Federation)

From May 7-8, the Armenian MMA Federation will host its 2022 National Championships. The tournament will take place at the Dynamo Arena in Yerevan, Armenia. Youth categories A, B and C will take place along with a senior tournament. 

The competition will determine a national team for Armenia that will aim to compete in the upcoming IMMAF tournaments. The Armenian Federation held its first tournament since the Covid lockdown was lifted in May of last year. They have been actively working on the development of the sport since. 

Armenia actively competed in IMMAF competition in 2021, building on their first-ever IMMAF appearance in 2019. They had three entries at the 2021 Youth World Championships, as well as two entries at the European Championships in Arman Avanesyan and Levon Tsatryan .

Speaking ahead of the event, Armenia MMA Federation's President, Garegin Aghabalyan, explained the importance of the event. 

“This is going to be the pivotal event of the year. The result of it will lead us to create a national team for all ages. We expect many participants as MMA gets more and more popular in Armenia. We'll create a strong national team to participate in Youth World's, European and subsequently World Championships.”


Sports: Armenian National Championships To Determine National Team For Upcoming IMMAF Events

May 5 2022

(MENAFN- International Mixed Martial Arts Federation)

From May 7-8, the Armenian MMA Federation will host its 2022 National Championships. The tournament will take place at the Dynamo Arena in Yerevan, Armenia. Youth categories A, B and C will take place along with a senior tournament. 

The competition will determine a national team for Armenia that will aim to compete in the upcoming IMMAF tournaments. The Armenian Federation held its first tournament since the Covid lockdown was lifted in May of last year. They have been actively working on the development of the sport since. 

Armenia actively competed in IMMAF competition in 2021, building on their first-ever IMMAF appearance in 2019. They had three entries at the 2021 Youth World Championships, as well as two entries at the European Championships in Arman Avanesyan and Levon Tsatryan .

Speaking ahead of the event, Armenia MMA Federation's President, Garegin Aghabalyan, explained the importance of the event. 

“This is going to be the pivotal event of the year. The result of it will lead us to create a national team for all ages. We expect many participants as MMA gets more and more popular in Armenia. We'll create a strong national team to participate in Youth World's, European and subsequently World Championships.”


Expert: Ukraine cannot have any expectations from Armenia in legal and moral terms

Armenia – May 5 2022

The Defense Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has accused Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan of negotiating with Moscow over the re-export of Russian products to international markets.

“The supply is planned to be made in the form of Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani products and export them to third countries,” the Defense Intelligence said on May 1. has spoken with military expert and reserve colonel Hayk Nahapetyan over the matter as well as the legal and moral aspects of Ukraine's expectations from Armenia in the process of imposing sanctions on Russia.

Hayk Nahapetyan: We should look at things from the legal perspective. Ukraine is complaining that individual entrepreneurs or legal entities engaged in economic activities have opened such enterprises in Armenia under domestic laws, isn’t it? That is, what law has been violated? No law has been broken. It is no coincidence that such a statement was issued by the Defense Intelligence. Because if the Armenian side had undertaken some commitments and had violated them, the Ukrainian diplomatic corps and political institutions would have reacted somehow apart from the intelligence office. But Armenia has not violated any agreement. Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili has also demanded explanations from the Ukrainian authorities over the country’s accusations, asking it to provide evidence. If the Ukrainian side had substantiated evidence, I believe it would have used it first for propaganda instead of just making a statement.

The world has seen such precedents when the intelligence provided inaccurate information to the military and political leadership, as a result of which an entire country and its people suffered, with hundreds of thousands of casualties. Take, for example, the display of a small bottle by first black U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell when Iraq was actually invaded by NATO, and then it turned out that Colin Powell and the U.S. military and political leadership had been provided with inaccurate information about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq by intelligence. That is, intelligence reports cannot serve as a basis and are not enough. But there is a moral aspect of the issue. From the legal terms, they can't substantiate that Armenia or Georgia have violated any verbal or contractual commitments.

The moral aspect is that Ukraine dares to interfere in the internal affairs of our country. It is for Armenia to decide what kind of relations to establish with a specific country in accordance with the agreements Armenia signed about 30 years ago.

Ukraine, no less, is laying out demands for Armenia, when Armenia has not made such a commitment. Armenia and Georgia did not join the sanctions [against Russia] and it is up to the authorities of the two countries to decide on the matter.

Ukraine would be better off dealing with its internal problems, rather than pointing fingers at who and why did not join the sanctions. As if the planet Earth now moves around Ukraine, and they believe that any state that does not help them, at the very least, is not their friend, if not an enemy.

In essence, I understand that the rule of the Nazi authorities in Ukraine is coming to an end, it is not far off and they are already in agony. They are blaming everyone, including NATO, the U.S., EU countries, and now some allegations are made against the three South Caucasus countries. This state of mind makes them look for others to blame for their own woes and defeats. I understand their feelings; we Armenians are also living through such times. Instead of acknowledging their mistakes and correcting them, our authorities are looking for the guilty outside the country. This is also the case in Ukraine. Against the background of the position on the Artsakh issue expressed by Ukraine for decades and especially during the 44-day war, does Ukraine have any moral right to expect Armenia to take a position in its favor? Moreover, after all this the Armenian authorities seem to have taken a neutral stance on the conflict.

Hayk Nahapetyan: Ukraine’s military and political leadership, law enforcement authorities and Security Council still stick to their position. When Azerbaijan occupied certain heights on Karaghlukh and Khramort, the Ukrainian top leadership was excited by the fact that Azerbaijan was about to start military operations against Artsakh, which would entail military actions against Russia, because the guarantor of the Artsakh people’s security is the Russian peacekeeping mission. They hoped that if such operations began, they could escalate into an Armenian-Azerbaijani war, thus a second front would open for Russia. They were extremely enthusiastic and made statements at the level of the heads of security agencies as well as members of the Rada.

Ukraine adheres to the following principle: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Obviously, during the 44-day war and up to present Ukraine is trying to support Azerbaijan. Incidentally, before the well-known events of February 24, the Azeri president visited Kyiv and held a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky. A memorandum was signed, according to which Azerbaijan and Ukraine, to a certain extent, mutually undertook obligations to each other in case of violation of the territorial integrity of the two countries. They recognized each other's territorial integrity when they joined the UN. Azerbaijan also recognized Crimea as a part of Ukraine in principle, let alone Donetsk and Luhansk. In the same way, Ukraine recognized the Republic of Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan. An agreement was also signed on military and technical cooperation. They are allies and have common handlers in the person of Turkey, UK and the United States. Naturally, Ukraine’s stance on the self-determination of the Artsakh Armenians and the independence of Artsakh is extremely negative. Some reports suggest that Ukraine also provided Azerbaijan with banned weapons which were used in the 44-day war. How would you comment on it?

Hayk Nahapetyan: I can neither confirm nor deny the reports that the cluster phosphorus weapons were supplied [to Azerbaijan] by Ukraine, but it has not been disproved. It is a fact that after Ukraine declared its independence in 1991 it inherited the lion's share of the military-industrial complex of the USSR. It was clearly in its interest to arm a state that was at least in unfriendly relations with Russia. Such military and technical assistance has been provided for years.

Military and technical cooperation is not prohibited by law, but the problem lies with weapons of mass destruction, phosphorus and cluster munitions banned by several international conventions, while the countries using them could face sanctions, just as Iraq was accused of developing chemical weapons and punished by NATO.

Here we have to look at whether such prohibited weapons that Ukraine had were sold to Azerbaijan. Some say that the phosphorus munitions were provided [to Azerbaijan] by Ukraine. At least there is no production of these weapons in Azerbaijan, otherwise other sources would have spoken about it.

Interview by A. Vardanyan

Armenia official: Peace agreement with Azerbaijan also means solution to Karabakh issue
Armenia – May 5 2022

A peace agreement with Azerbaijan also means a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) issue. Secretary Armen Grigoryan of the Security Council of Armenia stated about this at Thursday’s press briefing at the government.

According to him, Armenia sees this decision in ensuring the safety and rights of the Armenians of Artsakh.

"Based on that, it is necessary to accept the status of Karabakh. And based on that, there need to be security guarantees. We do not know what institutional guarantees there will be. If we come to a decision and see that the safety and rights of the Armenians [of Artsakh] are ensured, we will agree," Grigoryan said.

He added that in response to Azerbaijan's five points, Armenia's proposals—consisting of six points—were received.

"These two packages should be combined and discussions should start. There is understanding on this matter—both from Azerbaijan and other international partners. Armenia has noted that in order to have a comprehensive peace agreement, the Karabakh issue must also be resolved. I have not seen Baku publicly reject our proposals," the Armenian official emphasized.