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Artsakh Leader Annuls Earlier Decree to Dissolve Government

In an about-face, exiled Artsakh Republic President Samvel Shahramanyan has annulled his September 28 order to dissolve the government by the end of 2023.

Shahramanyan's order followed Azerbaijan’s September 19 military offensive against the internationally unrecognized republic.

Shahramanyan and the republic’s legislators, at the time, argued the decree was necessary to stop the hostilities and save lives.

Shahramanyan’s adviser, Vladimir Grigoryan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian language service that the Artsakh leader nullified the decree on October 19.

Grigoryan didn’t say why the nullification wasn’t publicized earlier.

France 24 today writes that Shahramanyan’s office in Yerevan described the September 28 decree as “empty paper”, adding: “No document can lead to the dissolution of the republic, which was established by people's will."

The impact of this decision on negotiations to reach an Armenian-Azerbaijan peace deal remains to be seen.

Update: Hours after he told RFE/RL's Armenian language service that Samvel Shahramanyan had nullified the decree on October 19 dissolving the government of the Artsakh Republic, Vladimir Grigoryan resigned as adviser to the Artsakh president.

On his Facebook page, Grigoryan did not mention why he resigned, only writing that his interview gave rise to various speculations.

"That's why I consider it necessary to mention that it was my personal comment, which at the moment does not express any official position. I also inform you that I am not the advisor of Samvel Shahramanyan," wrote Grigoryan.

Radio Liberty writes that Grigoryan, today, did not want to talk about the reasons for his dismissal, promising to comment on the matter in a few days.

Hours after Grigoryan's announcement, the Artsakh Information Headquarters in Yerevan reported that Samvel Shahramanyan met with officials working on a public basis and discussed the problems of the people of Artsakh.

Concerning the October 19 decree he signed to dissolve the Artsakh government, Shahramanyan stressed that there is no legal document that envisages the dissolution of state institutions.

These statements elicited criticism within Armenian government circles. MPs in the ruling Civil Contract parliamentary faction denounced Shahramanyan for running a parallel government within Armenia that seeks to drag the country into a new military conflagration.


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