Turkish Press: Armenian accusations of plans to use force ‘ridiculous,’ says Azerbaijan

Turkey – May 30 2023

Armenian accusations of plans to use force 'ridiculous,' says Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan on Tuesday dismissed accusations by Armenia that Baku threatened "the use of force" over a crucial land route to the Karabakh region.

"It is ridiculous that Armenia, which committed an act of aggression against Azerbaijan in violation of the UN Charter and the norms and principles of international law, and did not end the occupation (of Karabakh) despite 4 resolutions of the UN Security Council, is claiming that Azerbaijan is threatening with the use of force," said a statement by the country’s Foreign Ministry.

The ministry was referring to an earlier statement by Yerevan, issued in the wake of a visit by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Lachin, an area that serves as Armenia’s sole link to Karabakh, which Baku liberated in a 2020 war that lasted 44 days.

"The statement of the Armenian side is a manifestation of not being able to digest the work done by Azerbaijan in a short timeframe, who carried out reconstruction works after liberating these territories from the occupation, and created all the conditions for the return of the population violently expelled from these territories," added the Azerbaijani ministry.

It said Yerevan wanted to distract the international community's attention in order to prevent the return of civilians to areas previously under nearly three decades of Armenian occupation, as well as to cover up actions such as the placing of landmines and booby traps in homes during the withdrawal of Armenia’s forces from Lachin.

Despite the ongoing talks on a peace agreement between Baku and Yerevan, tensions between the neighboring countries increased in recent months over the Lachin corridor.

Armenian statements amount to a "deliberate distortion" of Aliyev's speech that stressed the need "to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty, the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan, and the resolute prevention of steps that serve to promote separatism in the region," it underlined.

Azerbaijan intends to take "all necessary steps" towards the reintegration of local Armenian residents, said the statement, rejecting Yerevan's "completely baseless" allegations that Baku intends to "ethnically cleanse" them from Lachin.

It also accused Armenia of hindering efforts to establish peace in the region and called on it to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan "not in words but in deeds as well," rather than "delivering false and deceitful statements."

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The Russia-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.

It seems that Armenia and Azerbaijan are not opposed to 1975 maps being used as basis for delimitation works. Pashinyan

 21:40, 1 June 2023

YEREVAN, JUNE 1, ARMENPRESS. Armenia and Azerbaijan, in all probability, are not opposed to the 1975 maps being used as a basis for the border delimitation works, ARMENPRESS reports, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced during the meeting with the Armenian community following the five-sided meeting held in Chișinău, reflecting on the results.

"In general, I should consider the discussion productive," said the Prime Minister.

Pashinyan reminded that it was agreed in Prague that Armenia and Azerbaijan should mutually recognize each other's territorial integrity based on the Almaty Declaration. The Almaty Declaration was signed in December 1991, after the collapse of the USSR. The Almaty Declaration was about countries recognizing each other's territorial integrity, the inviolability of borders within existing borders.

"We reached that agreement in Prague, and in Brussels we went one step further, we came to the understanding that Azerbaijan recognizes the territorial integrity of Armenia's 29,800 square kilometers, and Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan – 86,600 square kilometers," said the Prime Minister.

He emphasized that the understanding is that the issue of the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh should be discussed in the format of the Baku-Stepanakert dialogue, which should take place with international involvement, so that this agenda is not forgotten.

"Today there is one very preliminary detail that is important. Why I say very preliminary, because we need to check Azerbaijan's reaction to today's meeting. It seems that the parties are not opposed to taking the 1975 maps as a basis for further delimitation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This means another step to reaffirm the territorial integrity of 29,800 square kilometers and 86,600 square kilometers," Pashinyan added.

AW: Letter to the Editor | An economic benefit to human rights violations

By now, there have been newspaper publications and plenty of social media discussions of Azerbaijan’s blockade of the independent Republic of Artsakh in the South Caucasus.

No concrete international efforts have been made to provide relief to the 120,000 Christian Armenians, who for the past six months living on their native land, have been deprived of access to the internet, electricity, gas, medicine, food supplies, pharmaceuticals and critical medical care by the dictatorial regime of Azerbaijan.

We hear about human rights violations, yet from all the failed international negotiations and the February 22, 2023 International Court of Justice ruling in favor of Armenians, Azerbaijan has shown total disregard of this order. It has further constricted the “Road to Life” by installing a government checkpoint on the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor requiring native Armenians to have Azeri passports to go back and forth to the Republic of Armenia. Four villages within Artsakh are completely cut off from the outside world. Concerns for human rights violations are valid when there is subjugation, domination and exploitation of such people. 

The hidden reason behind why such crimes have been ongoing for so long has to do with the economic forces driving it. Why did Israel, a Holocaust surviving nation, continuously sell weapons to Azerbaijan which were used in the 2020 attack against Artsakh Armenians and continues to sell them weapons to this day as tracked by military cargo flights? Israel has established new bases in the newly-occupied, previously Armenian-inhabited villages, bordering Iran. This is a way to keep Iran in check.

The Pandora Papers, which unmasks the hidden owners of offshore companies, revealed on October 4, 2021 the extent of money laundering Ilham Aliyev and his family have been conducting in British real estate and institutions. The day before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Aliyev and Putin signed an Agreement of Cooperation. Russian gas is laundered through Azeri pipelines all the way to Turkey and Italy. Europe thinks there are sanctions on Russian oil and gas, but there really are not with actors like this.

Turkey sold military drones to Azerbaijan which were used for the first time on Armenians in the 2020 war. Their effectiveness opened the market for Turkish drones. Turkey and Azerbaijan are both trying to expand their lands and create physical connections at the expense of the Republic of Armenia. Azerbaijan has been attacking and taking land from the sovereign Republic of Armenia and taking over precious pasture lands where farm animals grazed, rerouting agricultural water flow and controlling precious mines that Armenia has for metals like gold, molybdenum and copper. Several of these mines belong to a US-based company, Anglo Asian Mining, which is partially owned by former Governor John H. Sununu, whose son may be interested in bidding for the 2024 US Presidency.

There is an economic benefit for the perpetrators of human rights violations, ethnic cleansing and genocides. That is why “Never Again” referring to the crime of genocide is just a slogan and not truly taken to heart by the human rights agencies. Artsakh has not received any concrete aid from the United States or Europe despite the billions of our tax dollars that are pouring into our government’s satellite war in Ukraine. It is not the knowledge of human rights violations that make people react but exposing the microeconomics that drive it.

Edna Antonian
New Jersey

PM Pashinyan responds to "corridor" wording of the President of Azerbaijan during the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council




YEREVAN, MAY 25, ARMENPRESS.  Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan participated in the jubilee 30th session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow. The Presidents of the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan also took part in the narrow-format session of the event, ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister.

The President of Azerbaijan took part in the extended-format session as a guest, and the leaders of the EAEU observer countries – Uzbekistan, Cuba, as well as the President of Tajikistan as a guest, participated remotely.

In his speech at the narrow-format session, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, noted that during the previous year, the largest economic growth in the area of the Eurasian Economic Union was recorded by Armenia – 12.6 percent.

In turn, Prime Minister Pashinyan added that during the first four months of this year, a 12.1 percent increase in economic activity was recorded in the Republic of Armenia.

In his speech at the extended-format session, Nikol Pashinyan specifically stated,

“Dear Heads of State,

Dear members of delegations,

I am glad to welcome you at this year’s first meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council

Let me to thank the presiding party and personally the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for the traditional hospitality and the high-level organization of the thirtieth jubilee session of the Supreme Council.

Dear colleagues,

At the narrow-format meeting, we had a thorough exchange of views on key issues of the agenda, and I would like to briefly touch on some of the issues relevant to the Union.

Strengthening the potential of national economies is conditioned also by a competent approach to ensuring energy security.

As has been repeatedly noted, the timely launch of the EAEU common gas market will contribute to the formation of favorable and mutually beneficial terms of trade, will ensure an increase in energy security, the level of economic integration and competitiveness of the Union Member States in the international market.

In this context, the Armenian side is ready for a constructive dialogue with the aim of reaching a consensus on outstanding issues as soon as possible.

Thanks to the great work done by the Commission and the authorized bodies of the Union Member States, we have managed to record significant progress in the development of a regulatory framework for the creation of a new format for financing industrial cooperative projects.

Financial assistance to joint cooperative projects in the field of industry will provide us with the opportunity to stimulate individual economic sectors of our countries.

At the same time, we attach importance to their balanced development in order to minimize the risks that imply stagnation or a decrease in activity in other economic sectors of the EAEU Member States.

Therefore, at the stage of project selection, it is important to develop mechanisms that eliminate these risks, which will give us a long-term perspective for such projects.

Let me note that one of the important aspects of cooperation between our countries is food security, which is aimed at ensuring the availability and quality of food for the population, as well as protecting the market from low-quality and dangerous products.

Today, the need to form a collective system for ensuring food security has sharply increased. I consider it obvious that there is a need to consolidate the efforts of the EAEU countries in this direction.

It is gratifying that, using various formats of cooperation, in 2022 we made systematic efforts to form a mutually beneficial partnership outside the Union, as evidenced by the information presented in the reports on the main directions of EAEU international activity and approaches to the development of trade and economic cooperation with the main partners of the Union in the medium term.

Given the high dynamics of the development of cooperation with Iran, the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement and its further implementation are a priority for us in the context of the real expansion of trade cooperation with third countries.

The continuation of the work in such priority and promising negotiation directions as India and Egypt, as well as the development of a comprehensive dialogue on the economic agenda and the deepening of trade and economic cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia will provide an additional impetus to the process of integration of the Union into the world economy.

Despite the achieved results, based on the current realities, it is necessary to swiftly create effective mechanisms of interaction with partners from third countries, which will consistently lead to the creation of conditions for the sustainable development of the economies of our countries.

Dear participants of the session,

Obviously, effective planning of steps to develop a common economic space implies an open dialogue with entrepreneurs and representatives of business circles.

In this context, I would like to highlight the holding of the Eurasian Economic Forum and, taking this opportunity, once again thank the Russian side for organizing large-scale events and for efforts to develop discussion topics that maximally cover topical areas of interaction within the EAEU.

The forum attracts leading political figures and leaders of business, cultural and other circles of the societies of the member states, becoming a key platform for the formation of promising ideas and projects, a platform for discussions around topical issues.

In conclusion, I would like to once again confirm the readiness of the Armenian side for the consistent implementation of joint projects aimed at reaching mutually acceptable solutions on important issues of the functioning of our integration union.

Thank you for attention”.

During the session, issues related to the development of cooperation in various fields within the framework of EAEU were discussed.

In his speech, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev used the wording "Zangezur Corridor", to which Prime Minister Pashinyan responded. "In his speech, the president of Azerbaijan used an _expression_ that has been used in recent years as a title for making territorial claims against Armenia. I would like to note that this is used in the framework of the implementation of point 9 of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020.

I would like to emphasize that the Declaration mentions only one corridor, and it is the Lachin corridor, which was supposed to be under the control of Russian peacekeepers, but, unfortunately, is illegally blocked by Azerbaijan. On the other hand, I want to confirm the readiness of the Republic of Armenia to unblock all transport and economic connections and communications in the region that pass through the territory of the Republic of Armenia – we call it the "Armenian Crossroads" and we are ready to open regional communications within the framework of the sovereignty and jurisdiction of those countries through which they pass. I mean the transport and economic communications mentioned in point 9 of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020 and the trilateral statement of January 11, 2021."

Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized that those who are familiar with the text of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020, know that there is only one use of the word "corridor" in it. "And in this context, this word has a special meaning, and it is the Lachin Corridor, which, I repeat, according to the trilateral declaration, should be under the control of the Russian Federation and provide a connection between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. But, unfortunately, in the presence of Russian peacekeepers, Azerbaijan illegally closed this corridor. On the other hand, I would like to confirm that Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed on mutual recognition of each other's territorial integrity. And on this basis, yes, it can be said that we are going quite well in the direction of normalizing our relations.

In this context, I would also like to mention a very important issue, the issue of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh within the framework of the international mechanism. I hope that soon a normal constructive dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert will begin," said the Prime Minister.

Referring to Aliyev's statement that Russia also supports the idea of Zangezur Corridor, Nikol Pashinyan noted: "It is very interesting to know that Russia supports the project you mentioned. To be honest, this is the first time I have heard about it.

I know that Russia supports the opening of all transport and economic communications in our region. You said "Lachin road", but according to our trilateral declaration, "Lachin road" does not exist, there is a corridor which, according to the trilateral declaration signed by three of us, should be under the control of Russian peacekeeping forces, that is, no one else should exercise any control of this corridor.

And what is happening there is a direct violation of the trilateral declaration. And you said that the corridor is open, but we don't see it, we don't think so. Therefore, we consider it important that an international fact-finding mission be sent to both the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno Karabakh to assess the humanitarian situation in Nagorno Karabakh.

And I must say that, unfortunately, we have a humanitarian crisis there since December, because due to the closure of the Lachin corridor, obstacles are created for the supply of food and other necessities. And this is a very serious situation. Gas and electricity have also been blocked by Azerbaijan. I mean the gas and electricity going to Nagorno Karabakh. And, Vladimir Vladimirovich, you know about it very well, because we have talked about this many times."

Pashinyan – Putin meeting kicks off in Moscow




YEREVAN, MAY 25, ARMENPRESS.  Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are holding a bilateral meeting in Moscow.

ARMENPRESS reports, earlier on May 25, the jubilee 30th session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was held in Moscow.

A trilateral meeting of the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan is also scheduled.

[see video]

Armenian Genocide Education in Michigan: From Law to Curriculum to Training

Detroit Armenian community members with then-Governor Rick Schneider as he signed the Genocide and Holocaust Education bill into law in 2016

Special Issue: Genocide Education for the 21st Century
The Armenian Weekly, April 2023

The Armenian Genocide has always been at the forefront of Armenian consciousness and will continue to be as long as upcoming generations carry the torch of history, demand justice and work to prevent present-day injustices against Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh).  

Armenia is facing an existential threat just as it did in 1915. The unprovoked attacks on innocent Armenians of Artsakh, the blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, and recently, attacks on the Republic of Armenia, are nothing more than the continuation of the Armenian Genocide over a hundred years ago. The need to educate students everywhere is imperative.  

In recent years, some public school districts have recognized the importance of educating students on the topic of genocide, at times as part of their history classes, and in other instances, as a full-semester course on the topic. While a few genocides are well known to the public, the Armenian Genocide has traditionally been marginalized in Michigan. When taught in all public schools, there are vital lessons that can be learned from studying the Armenian Genocide, the first major genocide of the 20th century, while for Armenians, the history and memory of those who perished will be engraved forever.

The First Step

Every April 24, the Armenian community commemorates the Genocide with a remembrance proclamation from the state of Michigan; but in 2002, it was formalized through legislation as “Armenian Genocide Remembrance Days, Act 558 of 2002” signed into law by Governor John Engler.

“Section 435-281 Michigan days of remembrance of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923.”

Sec. 1

“The legislature declares that April 24 of each year shall be the Michigan day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923, and that the period beginning on the Sunday before that day through the following Sunday shall be the days of remembrance in this state, in memory of the victims of the genocide, and in honor of the survivors.”

Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the state of Michigan was cemented into law.

Armenian Genocide Education Becomes Law

In 2014-2015 the Michigan chapter of the Armenian National Committee of American (ANCA) had pursued an aggressive campaign to include the Armenian Genocide in the Genocide and Holocaust Education Bill that was to be proposed in the Michigan House of Representatives. Through countless meetings, knocking on every legislator’s door, letter writing campaigns and phone banks, every legislator was briefed and asked to support the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the Genocide and Holocaust Education Bill.  Although the initial bill never made it to the floor before the Michigan House of Representatives ended its session, a new, identical bill was proposed the following year. The ANCA and other Armenian groups and organizations who were working to the same end joined forces in 2016 as a united front, advocating for Armenian Genocide education with the help of a lobbyist, an energized grassroots effort from the community, and this time, against the powerful Turkish lobby. Despite extreme challenges the second time around, the Armenian and Jewish communities successfully pushed the bill through.

In 2016, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law HB4493, the Michigan Genocide and Holocaust Education Bill. The Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust, as the only two genocides recognized by law in the state of Michigan, are named specifically. The new law, MCL 380.1168, requires a minimum of six hours of instruction from the eighth through 12th grade. 

With the passing of the law came responsibility. The governor appointed five members from the Armenian community to serve on the Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education, along with five members from the Jewish community and five nonaffiliated members, and charged them with the task of providing resources and the necessary tools for educators to teach specifically about the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust.  

By this time, representatives from the Michigan ANCA and other community groups and organizations had joined together to form the Armenian Genocide Education Committee (AGEC), a non-profit (501c3) organization. The AGEC, as the community’s representative body, is responsible for securing inclusion and dissemination of all materials related to Armenian Genocide education in Michigan and to fundraise for this purpose. The term of the Michigan Governor’s Council on Genocide and Holocaust Education ended two years later with a resource website for educators, which continues to be a work in progress (mhge.org).

Michigan Genocide Education Town Hall Meeting

Armenian Genocide in the State Standards

Beginning in 2014, there were several attempts to revise the Michigan social studies standards to become more inclusive. In 2019, after much politicized tensions, the Michigan Board of Education approved the last version of the revised social studies standards. Prior to the final vote, the AGEC actively pursued inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the appropriate sections by contacting key legislators, directly communicating with the standard writers and public speaking at town hall meetings. Hearing our voices, the writers amended the lapses in the standards, which was included in the final version under World History and Geography, Era 7, (Standard 7.2.6 Case Studies of Genocide and 7.2.1 WWI). It was purely by chance that the social studies standards were being revised and put to vote by the Michigan Board of Education following the end of the Governor’s Council term. This allowed the revised standards to reflect the new law and include the Armenian Genocide as a case study. 

Armenian Genocide Teacher Training in Michigan

The task of providing Armenian Genocide teacher-training workshops through Michigan Intermediate School Districts is a daunting task. The AGEC hosted several trainings, provided by The Genocide Education Project, but the pandemic slowed the process. It soon became evident that the work requires assistance from an experienced team of professionals in the field of education. The AGEC soon formed an advisory board, composed of district curriculum directors, superintendents and the CEO of a consulting and administrative services for school districts, to seek counsel on this new endeavor.

It also became evident that the work requires a team of educators and like-minded individuals to carry out the mission of reaching out to the various districts and to help organize teacher trainings throughout the state. Presently, the AGEC is in the process of forming such a team.

This team eventually will recruit and prepare a group of classroom speakers to be on call as available resources for teachers. The AGEC’s agenda includes the future establishment of a separate website exclusively about the Armenian Genocide and specifically designed for Michigan teachers with lesson plans aligned to Michigan’s social studies standards and local resources for teachers.  

A genocide educaton workshop held in Dearborn, Michigan, and led by Sara Cohan, former education director for The Genocide Education Project

There is great potential for further engagement with the public to educate them on the Armenian Genocide outside of schools. Utilizing public libraries, civic centers and public events to organize art and photography exhibitions, musical concerts, poetry readings, showing documentary films, essay contests and speaker series expands the audience base beyond the Armenian community and beyond classrooms, too. In turn, this will provide a better understanding of the present situation in Armenia and Artsakh, broadening our advocacy base beyond our small communities. These are some ideas for the future being considered by the AGEC of Michigan. Keeping alive the memory and history of the Armenian Genocide is crucial in understanding today’s reality, and with the lessons learned, it is imperative for securing the future of Armenia and Artsakh.

Ani Boghikian Kasparian is an active member of the Detroit Armenian community. From 2004 until the pandemic, she taught Western Armenian language at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and is affiliated with university 's Armenian Research Center. Boghikian Kasparian is a member of the Armenian Genocide Education Committee of Michigan and president of Houshamadyan Educational Association, the US executive board of the Houshamadyan Project (Houshamadyan.org). She received a bachelor of arts degree double-majoring in sociology and psychology and a master of arts degree in teaching, both from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and a master of arts in counseling from Oakland University-Rochester.
Lara S. Nercessian graduated from Wayne State University with a major in political science and minor in English literature and later with her law degree. She is currently a practicing attorney at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office, where she has practiced law for over 18 years. Previous to her current role as the lead attorney for the District Courts Divison, she prosecuted sexual assault crimes as a member of the Special Victim's Unit. Nercessian has also been an active member of the Armenian American community. Currently, she serves on the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region board, is the vice chairperson of the Armenian Genocide Education Committee, is a member of the Armenian Relief Society “Zabel” Chapter and Detroit Mid-Council and former chairperson of ANC of MI.

Russia to continue dialogue with Armenia on CSTO — Kremlin spokesman

Russia –
Dmitry Peskov stressed that the CSTO "enjoys authority among" the member countries

MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Russia will continue the dialogue with Armenia on the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Monday.

Moscow is certain that the organization is effective and has a potential for further development, he stressed. Peskov was commenting on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's statement that Armenia would leave the CSTO, if it found the organization "incapable."

"As for the Armenian prime minister’s statement, we will certainly continue our dialogue with our Armenian friends. We will also talk to them on further joint participation in the CSTO," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Peskov stressed that the CSTO "enjoys authority" among the member countries.

"This is an organization that has repeatedly demonstrated its effectiveness in various situations. It has a potential to develop," the presidential spokesman said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier said that Yerevan preferred to opt for the EU, failing to bring the work on sending the CSTO mission to its logical conclusion.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization consists of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Mysterious white, powdery substance found inside 3,000-year-old ruins in Armenia isn’t what it seems


Piles of a mysterious white, powdery substance found inside the ruins of a 3,000-year-old building in Armenia are a culinary historian's dream — the remnants of ancient flour.

A Polish-Armenian team of archaeologists made the discovery while working at an archaeological site in the town of Metsamor, in western Armenia, last fall. Upon identifying the flour and excavating several furnaces, the team realized that the ancient structure once served as a large bakery. The dustings of the ancient flour were sprinkled throughout the dirt-cloaked ruins, including on several furnaces, according to Science in Poland, a Polish news website jointly run by independent media and the government.

"Upon first glance, it looked like ashes," Krzysztof Jakubiak, a professor of archaeology at the University of Warsaw who led the excavation, told Live Science. "We knew it was something organic and collected about four to five sacks' worth of the material."

After conducting a chemical analysis, the team determined that the substance was wheat flour used to bake bread. They estimated that, at one time, approximately 3.5 tons (3.2 metric tons) of flour would have been stored inside the 82-by-82-foot (25 by 25 meters) building, which contained two rows of 18 wood columns supporting a reed roof with wood beams. Researchers estimate that the bakery was operational between the 11th and ninth centuries B.C. during the early Iron Age, according to Science in Poland.

"This is one of the oldest known structures of its kind in Metsamor," Jakubiak said. "Because the structure's roof collapsed during a fire, it shielded everything, and luckily, the flour survived. It's astounding; under normal circumstances, everything should be burned and gone entirely."

Before the building became a bakery, Jakubiak said, it was possibly "used for ceremonies or meetings, and then was turned into storage."

Although not much is known about Metsamor's ancient inhabitants, since they didn't have a written language, researchers do know that the fortified city became part of the biblical kingdom of Urarat (also spelled Urartu) after being conquered by King Argishti I in the eighth century B.C. Prior to this, it would have covered 247 acres (100 hectares) and was once "surrounded by temple complexes with seven sanctuaries," according to Science in Poland. 

Previous excavations at Metsamor revealed a walled settlement with a cemetery containing 100 burials. Although many of the tombs were empty, likely due to looting, one tomb held several gold pendants and around 100 jewelry beads, according to The Miami Herald

Russia thinks that there is no alternative to trilateral agreements on Karabakh — Kremlin

Russia –
Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov pledged that relations between Moscow and Erevan rest on the basis of "advanced partnership"

MOSCOW, May 14. /TASS/. Moscow believes that the trilateral agreements are the only basis for a lasting settlement between Baku and Yerevan, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.

"Naturally, certain sensitive aspects do exist. Russia, you know, is committed to the trilateral documents that were signed two years ago. We insist that there are no alternatives to them as a basis for the settlement. And in order to reach settlement, it is necessary to follow the path of implementing the agreements that were reached by the three parties," he said in an interview with the Moscow.Kremlin.Putin program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.

He pledged that relations between Russia and Armenia rest on the basis of "advanced partnership." "Special relations, which have deep historical roots. We are convinced that they have a bright future," Peskov said.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union’s break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs – Russia, France and the United States.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Under the agreement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had held and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor that connects Armenia with the enclave to exercise control of the ceasefire observance. Apart from that, a number of districts came over to Baku’s control.

Later, the three leaders adopted several more joint statements on the situation in the region. Last year, Azerbaijan and Armenia began to discuss a peace treaty.

Asbarez: No Progress in Talks with Baku on ‘Most Crucial’ Issues, Yerevan Says

Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington on May 1

As Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan are preparing to meet in Brussels on May 14, Yerevan said that there has been no progress on some of the most crucial issues in its talks with Baku.

This assessment comes a week after Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhum Bayramov, held marathon talks in Washington initiated by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They emerged from those meetings saying “lingering differences” remained between the two countries. Pashinyan said last week that Karabakh was at the center of the differences.

Armenia’s National Security chief Armen Grigoryan told reporters on Tuesday that significant progress has not been made on key issues in Yerevan’s talks with Baku.

“It is the acknowledgement of the sovereign 29,800 square kilometers of the Republic of Armenia, the creation of international mechanism for normalization between Stepanakert and Baku, as well as the need for international guarantees,” Grigoryan explained were the issues still pending in the talks with Azerbaijan.

“We have stated many times our approach regarding Artsakh, that international mechanisms should be created, Stepanakert and Baku should discuss rights and security issues,” Grigoryan said.

He added that even the provisions of the November 9, 2020 agreement were not being implemented.

“For example, according to the tripartite statement, Azerbaijan should not be present in the Lachin corridor, but it is present at the moment. It is very important for us to have an institution of international guarantors with which we will resolve such issues,” Grigoryan added.

He explained that the current talks were being held between Armenia and Azerbaijan and mediators, such as the U.S. and the European Union, were providing assistance to ensure progress in the talks.

Charles Michel, the European Council President, confirmed Monday that Pashinyan and Aliyev will meet in Brussels on May 14, the first meeting between the two leaders since another Michel-mediated talks in Munich in February.

The U.S. welcomed the upcoming talks and continued its upbeat rhetoric peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan being “within reach.”

“Last week’s discussions were constructive, and we believe that the delegations from Armenia and Azerbaijan made significant progress in addressing difficult issues,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said Monday during a press briefing.

“Both countries, as you know, agreed in principle to certain terms and have a better understanding of each other’s points of views. And we believe that with additional goodwill and flexibility and compromise, that an agreement is within reach,” Patel said, adding that the U.S. will continue to provide full support and engagement “as the two countries continue to engage in dialogue and continue to secure a durable and sustainable peace.”

“For Armenia, it makes no difference where these negotiations take place. At the moment, we have not been successful in making progress in anywhere,” Grigoryan, Armenia’s security chief, told reporters on Tuesday in response to a question of whether Yerevan favors talks mediated by the West or by Russia or whether they had made proposals that are in line with Armenia’s priorities.

Grigoryan also stressed that there is not decision on where an agreement will be signed, pointing out that Yerevan will sign a document when there is “an opportunity to make progress and reach a final agreement.”