Border demarcation has “nothing to do” with Artsakh, Pashinyan says

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan pictured during his interview with Al Jazeera (Photo RA Prime Minister’s Office, June 14, 2022)

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that the delimitation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border will not resolve the Artsakh conflict in a June 13 interview.

“The commission for border delimitation has nothing to do with the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) issue,” Pashinyan said during an English-language interview with Al Jazeera during an official visit to Qatar, calling the settlement of the conflict the “most important and urgent issue between Armenia and Azerbaijan for peace in our region.”

He expressed his “hope that we will be able to establish diplomatic relations and open the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is closed for 30 years.”

In addition to border delimitation and demarcation, Pashinyan identified the normalization of bilateral relations and the opening of regional transport and communication links as the “three tracks” between Armenia and Azerbaijan that are not connected to the Artsakh conflict. 

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been engaged in ongoing negotiations toward a peace treaty for the past six months. The peace agreement will include mutual recognition of each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a set of principles proposed by Azerbaijan and accepted by Armenia. Armenia has also said that securing the rights and freedoms of the Armenian population of Artsakh is fundamental to a peace treaty. 

Yet Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that the Artsakh conflict has been resolved. Following the first meeting of a bilateral commission to demarcate the Armenia-Azerbaijan border on May 24, Aliyev said that the border demarcation process will recognize Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Artsakh. 

“It automatically puts an end to the territorial claims made against Azerbaijan by revanchist, fascist forces in Armenia, because if we define the borders, what kind of ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’ status can we talk about?” Aliyev told the press on May 27. “This is the territory of Azerbaijan, and the whole world accepts it. Therefore, the first meeting of the commissions on the delimitation of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border is of great importance.” 

Pashinyan and Aliyev agreed to create a trilateral commission to demarcate and delimit the Armenia-Azerbaijan border during a November 26 summit in Sochi hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the commission was not launched until the spring, following a trilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel in Brussels on May 23. 

Armenian deputy prime minister Mher Grigoryan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Shahin Mustafayev were appointed the heads of the commission and held their first meeting on May 24 at an undisclosed location along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The commission heads agreed to hold a second meeting in Moscow and a third meeting in Brussels. 

During the interview with Al Jazeera, Pashinyan also responded to Aliyev’s repeated call for the establishment of a corridor free of passport or customs controls connecting Azerbaijan to its exclave the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. 

“The narrative of the wording of a so-called corridor is unacceptable for us. It is a red line for us,” Pashinyan said. “We have one corridor in our region, and this is the Lachin corridor connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.”

The trilateral group working on opening transport and communication links held its first meeting in six months on June 3. Grigoryan, Mustafayev and Russian deputy prime minister Alexei Overchuk “discussed and coordinated positions on borders, customs and other types of control, as well as safe travel by residents, vehicles and cargo on automobiles and railroads.”

While commenting on the meeting one week later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the control process governing the highway route connecting Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan will be “simplified.” 

“The railway route has been agreed upon. Now they are close to agreement on the highway route and the control process there to be established. It will be simplified but certainly based on the recognition of the sovereignty of Armenian territory. There can be no ambiguities here,” Lavrov said during a joint press conference following a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan in Yerevan.

Aliyev has repeatedly called for the creation of a Zangezur corridor. On the morning of a December 14 trilateral meeting in Brussels hosted by Michel, Aliyev said that the Zangezur corridor should operate similarly to the Lachin corridor connecting Armenia and Artsakh. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed along the Lachin corridor since the signature of the November 9, 2020 ceasefire declaration to guarantee secure passage between Armenia and Artsakh. 

While speaking with the press on May 27, Aliyev said that while “Armenia has always tried to prevent” the opening of the Zangezur corridor, the outcome of the trilateral meeting in Brussels endorsed its launch. 

The statement released after the meeting stated that the leaders had “agreed on the principles governing transit between western Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, and between different parts of Armenia via Azerbaijan” regarding “border administration, security, land fees but also customs in the context of international transport” without identifying what those principles are. 

On May 31, Michel’s spokesperson released a statement clarifying the position of the European Council. 

“Connectivity was specifically discussed in Brussels on May 22 to advance opportunities for unblocking the region. In this context, both parties confirmed there were no extraterritorial claims with regard to future transport infrastructure. Speculation to the contrary is regrettable,” the statement reads

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is a staff writer for the Armenian Weekly. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hetq and the Daily Californian. She is pursuing master’s degrees in Journalism and Near Eastern Studies at New York University. A human rights journalist and feminist poet, Lillian's first poetry collection Journey to Tatev was released with Girls on Key Press in spring of 2021.
Lillian Avedian

@LillianAvedian

Graduate student @GloJo_NYU and @nyukevo. Staff writer @armenianweekly. Editorial intern @DAWN_Journal. She/her.
Queer Armenians are leading the way to a better Armenian future. Read the @ArmenianWeekly #PrideMonth feature spotl… https://t.co/LJIIWk3z8z - 6 days ago

5 Comments

  1. Prime Minister Pashinyan originally took an unyielding defiant stand against Azerbaijan; but, after robotic war drones decimated Armenian positions, after the entire world turned its back on Armenia, after Russia gave a green light to Azerbaijan’s 2020 War, things changed. Now, PM Pashinyan is a beaten man, essentially whipped, moldable, and a backseat driver for his own nation’s destiny. It’s not really about traitorous actions, it’s about a man (Pashinyan) who has been whipped into submission. It’s for that reason that Pashinyan has outlived his usefulness, and now serve as a liability and poisoned pawn.

  2. Every one of Armenia’s leading Russia puppet pseudo-presidents and now a pseudo-prime-minister since “independence” has been a ridiculous traitorous loser. 70 years of a Soviet-Russian brainwashing campaign has yielded these results: an inept gang of unpatriotic crooks representing a mass of uneducated, equally unpatriotic, ignorant and careless public in and around the Yerevan municipality, fecklessly deciding the future and fate of the entire Armenian nation and public around the globe.

    We in the diaspora are guilty too: of supporting and enabling the unpatriotic thieves of Armenia for 30 years. And we still haven’t learned our lesson, at least many of us haven’t based on what I see in the media.

    All four of Armenia’s chief crooks, ALL FOUR, have not ONCE done ANYTHING for the future security of the Armenian nation. These people are not placed there as “Armenians”. They are Russian agents just placed there to ensure that no harm comes to “Mother Russia” in the south Caucasus. They all did their jobs for Russia brilliantly. It’s just that they have gone down in Armenia’s history as a bunch of traitors.

    Here is a summary:
    Traitor Crook #1 Levon Ter Petrossian, 100% KGB approval, seeing the coming war in Artsakh, made sure to sell off all of Armenia’s critical infrastructure so that Armenia can go into industrial decline and poverty. He next tried to give away lands to Artsakh, but miscalculated that it was too soon, as the Artsakh army was still a potent force and the Azeri one was nearly completely destroyed.

    Traitor Crook #2 Robert Kocharyan, 100% KGB approval, laid down the foundation to hand away Artsakh to Azerbaijan. Initially tried a plan called the “Meghri Plan”: give away most of Artsakh, including a southern corridor so that ‘Pan-Turkism’ can be realized connecting Turkey, Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan. Miraculously, and suspiciously, Aliyev Sr actually refused it, an unintended miracle saving Armenia from a poor villager from Karabakh named Robert Kocharyan who suddenly became a multi-millionaire after becoming “president”.

    Traitor Crook #3 Serjh Sargsyan, 100% KGB approval, made sure to sign-off Armenia’s critical infrastructure to “Mother Russia”, abandon European economic projects and join Russia’s decrepit system, laying the foundation for complete and blind obedience to all of Russia’s orders no matter how ridiculous or outrageous, all while it was apparent to all that Russia was getting closer to Azerbaijan and Turkey. Serjhik implemented a “test run” to give away territories in 2016. And despite observing drones being used, refusing to modernize Armenia’s army with them. Serjh Sargsyan, another poor villager from Karabakh who miraculously became a multi-millionaire after becoming another “president”.

    Traitor Crook #4 Nikol Pashinian, 100% KGB approval, the natural successor to Serjh Sargsyan and Traitor Crook #1’s confidant and in-law. Levon Ter Petrossian finally returns to politics to hand Artsakh away like he originally intended. This time though, the sheeple of Armenia, greatly reduced in numbers through emigration, can’t seem to effectively organize to do anything about it, remembering that the fridge is full, and colorful lights are running on Yerevan’s streets illuminating the amazing cafes. In the time of Pashinyan, Russian psy-ops became a bit more sophisticated: elect another Russia puppet and make him seem like a western “Sorosakan” agent. Except that, miraculously, old Nikole is doing everything that Russia tells him, with absolutely no real input from the USA other than the usual artificial calls for “peace with neighbors”.

    • The West don´t care about Armenia.Unfortunately Armenia has a long History and old Culture but no Oil or access to the Sea! Armenians have a lack of real patriotism, I mean collectively. 30 years and so many opportunities, life´s are wasted. Incompetent, corrupt leadership.

    • Yup the west doesn’t care for Armenia, it’s true. The problem is, that goes double for “Mother Russia”. At least the west does not proclaim to be allied with Armenia and make “security guarantees” while working with Armenia’s enemies to hand away Armenian lands like it has been doing for 100 years straight.

      And no access to the sea was a specific and deliberate Russian design to keep Armenia poor and always “dependent” on Russia while behind Armenia’s back Russia supports Azeris and Turks against Armenia. This has been the Russian formula for a century and has not changed until today. We saw its latest example in 2020.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*