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Gayane Hovsepyan

Pashinyan Slams Inaction of Russian Peacekeepers in Karabakh as "Unacceptable"

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, at a government cabinet session today, once again criticized Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh for inaction to resolve the Lachin Corridor impasse, adding that Yerevan must continue to work with Russia and others to “prevent further escalation of the situation and to achieve comprehensive settlements.”

Pashinyan announced the formation of a task force, to be headed by Deputy PM Tigran Khachatryan, to monitor the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Karabakh and to collaborate with the Artsakh government to facilitate the provision of urgently needed assistance.

Pashinyan said the task force will also work with international organizations to get assistance to Artsakh.

He announced that Armenia will provide an additional AMD 4 billion (US$10.2m) in assistance to Artsakh.

"The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is worsening daily as a result of the eighteen-day closure of the Lachin Corridor. Hundreds of families in Nagorno-Karabakh remain divided, being on different sides of the blockade. The shortage of essential goods is growing. Shop windows have been emptied and food supply restrictions have been introduced in public facilities. People face a difficult socio-psychological condition," he said.

Pashinyan reiterated that the closure of the Lachin Corridor is a gross violation of point 6 of the tripartite declaration of November 9, 2020 and denied claims by Baku that the roadway is open for traffic.

Even if we accept Azerbaijan's propaganda hypothesis that the corridor was blocked by "eco-activists", according to point 6 of the tripartite declaration, it is Azerbaijan's direct obligation to ensure the safe movement of citizens, vehicles and cargo through the Lachin corridor.

Pashinyan again called on Russian peacekeepers to clarify what they plan to do to resolve the situation.  

 If, for objective or subjective reasons, Russia is unable to ensure stability and security in Nagorno Karabakh, then Russia should initiate a discussion in the U.N. Security Council endowing the Russian peacekeeping force with a U.N. Security Council mandate or sending a multinational peacekeeping force there," said Pashinyan.

Pashinyan said the closure of the roadway is just the latest example of Azerbaijan entering areas under the supervision of the Russian peacekeepers.

"Azerbaijan is preparing another military provocation, including in Nagorno Karabakh,” Pashinyan said, adding his government still supports the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh but that it wants answers from Moscow about their stated mission.

 "It is unacceptable for us to become a silent witness to the depopulation of Nagorno-Karabakh. The behavior of the Russian peacekeeping troops is unacceptable,” Pashinyan said.


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