In his speech to the European Parliament, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia highlighted challenges to democracy, including external aggression, inaction by security allies, and attempts to exploit conflicts.
Excerpts from the speech of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, in the European Parliament:
“Democracy in Armenia continues to face severe blows, following a recurring pattern: external aggression, inaction of our allies in the sphere of security, attempts to exploit war, humanitarian situations, or external security threats to undermine the democracy and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia. This is manifested through hybrid technologies that foment internal instability, directed by external forces.
At a time when 100,000 Armenians fled from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, our security allies not only failed to assist us but publicly called for a change in government in Armenia and the overthrow of the democratic government.
Due to the inaction of Russian peacekeeping forces, over 100,000 Armenians left their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh within a week, and an additional 20,000 were forced to leave Nagorno-Karabakh immediately after the 44-day war, with some having no possibility to return due to the unlawful blockade of the Lachin Corridor that began in December.
Recently, the President of Azerbaijan recognized the territorial integrity of Armenia but did not mention the recognition of Armenia’s 29,800 square kilometers. This raises concerns and speculations among some analysts, suggesting that it leaves room for territorial claims against Armenia. The agreement on the recognition of territorial integrity with specific figures was reached precisely to avoid ambiguities in the recognition of each other’s territorial integrity, ensuring that neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan could claim that a part of the territory does not actually belong to the other country.”
Azerbaijan also maintains an ambiguous stance on accepting the latest Soviet Union maps as the basis for demarcation, which gives some experts reason to believe that Azerbaijan is laying the groundwork for territorial claims against Armenia and the initiation of new military aggression.
Azerbaijan consistently insists that Armenia must provide a corridor through its territory. In everyday international discourse, the term “corridor” simply refers to inter-state roads, but in our region, there’s a peculiar situation. In the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, the word “corridor” is used only concerning the Lachin Corridor, which is meant to provide a link between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. The uniqueness lies in the fact that, according to this document, the Lachin Corridor is not just a road but a territorial layer, 5 kilometers wide, which was supposed to be outside Azerbaijan’s control and under the supervision of peacekeepers. Therefore, the term “corridor” in this context implies an extraterritorial layer. Armenia has never agreed to any restriction of its sovereignty and jurisdiction over any of its territories. It did not make such a commitment.
Armenia and Azerbaijan, based on their sovereignty and armed forces, must open roads without the aforementioned corridor discussions. Border and other control services should operate at the intersections of these roads based on the jurisdiction, sovereignty, and laws of the countries.
We are ready to restore the Meghri railway, which will connect:
– Southern Armenia and Azerbaijan
– Southern regions of Armenia to the northwest
– Southwest Azerbaijan with Nakhijevan
– Turkey and Armenia
– Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran
– The east with the west, from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean
– The north with the south, from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea.
We are ready to sign a peace and relations settlement treaty with Azerbaijan by the end of the year.
We are ready to collaborate on demining efforts. I want to emphasize that in 2021, Armenia received from Nagorno-Karabakh and handed over to Azerbaijan all minefield maps in the possession of the Armenian side, without any preconditions, as a gesture of goodwill.
Regarding transportation communications, while adhering to the principle of reciprocity, we are prepared to:
– Simplify procedures.
– Ensure the safe passage of Azerbaijani goods and individuals through our territory.
With hopes for reciprocity, we are also ready to:
– Achieve a mutual withdrawal of troops from the 1991 border line. This would mean that Azerbaijan will not have troops on any Armenian territory, and Armenia will not have troops in Azerbaijan.
– Address the issue of so-called enclaves, as I stated in an interview with Armenian Public Television on October 10 of this year.
Currently, 1016 citizens of the Republic of Armenia are considered missing, and we are ready to collaborate closely to determine their fates.
We are also prepared to adhere to the principle of releasing all prisoners of war, captives, and detained individuals.