Azerbaijani vandals have furthered their campaign of destroying cultural symbols that link Armenians to Artsakh. The latest act involved the demolition of the monument dedicated to Stepan Shahumyan, the leader of the Baku Commune during the Russian Revolution and Civil War. The capital of Artsakh, Stepanakert, was named in honor of Shahumyan. This demolition is part of a disturbing trend under which Azerbaijan continues to eradicate cultural artifacts significant to Armenian heritage in Artsakh.
According to Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Mehdi Sobhani, Armenia and Iran have the potential to expand the gas-for-electricity project by increasing its volume. Sobhani highlighted the recent extension of the gas-for-electricity agreement between the two countries, characterizing it as a significant and strategic development in their relations. This agreement is poised to enable a substantial rise in electricity imports from Armenia to Iran, potentially tripling the current levels in exchange for gas. Sobhani also mentioned ongoing collaborative projects, notably the imminent completion of the third power transmission line, which is anticipated to be finalized in the coming months.
Russia reiterated its stance on monitoring future transport routes linking Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, citing the tripartite agreement signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on November 10, 2020. According to the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, the monitoring responsibility lies with Russia’s FSB Border Guard Service. In response, Armenia affirmed its sovereignty, stating that it will conduct border and customs checks within its territory if regional routes open. Ani Badalyan, spokesperson of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, emphasized Armenia’s commitment to sovereignty and highlighted the creation of a specialized unit within Armenia’s National Security Service to oversee road safety and passage of goods in potential regional routes.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed a bill to extend the Turkish troops’ mandate in Azerbaijan for an additional year, which has been approved by the Turkish parliament. The legislation also highlights the significance of maintaining operations at the Turkish-Russian joint monitoring center in Akna (Aghdam), emphasizing its role in fostering trust and ensuring security between the involved parties. The Turkish military’s presence in Azerbaijan was set to conclude on November 17, prompting the extension through the newly approved bill.