Remarks by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan regarding the situation in the Lachin Corridor. The official statement was delivered at the January 12 Cabinet meeting.

Posted on January. 13. 2023

“Dear participants of the Cabinet meeting,

Dear people,

The illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan continues for 32 days now. On Monday, the work of the power line supplying electric power to Nagorno Karabakh from the Republic of Armenia was disrupted. The failure occurred in the territory under the control of Azerbaijan, and until this moment neither the relevant services of Nagorno-Karabakh nor the peacekeepers have been given the opportunity to carry out restoration works, nor is there any information about the implementation or progress of restoration works.

The failure of electric energy supply to Nagorno Karabakh has created new problems. Power outages are taking place as local power capacities are insufficient. Kindergartens operate incompletely, including due to food shortage. Jobs are closing, further aggravating the social situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Dear attendees,
Dear people,

My assessment remains the same that Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor aims to break the will of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians to live in their homeland, but I believe that this will is unbreakable.

But on the other hand, we also need to have some idea of how this situation should be resolved. In my opinion, the reaction of the people and government of Nagorno-Karabakh should be asymmetrical in this matter as well. What does this mean? First of all, the developments of recent years, their deeper meanings and reasons should be faced in a way that our assessments of events and situations should be fact-based. In this regard, first of all, political statements which drive the situation further into a deadlock should be avoided, because statements that are not accompanied by clear ideas of reaching the end point are of no use. And then, a political dialogue between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan should begin, and our partners in Nagorno-Karabakh should not give anyone the opportunity to accuse them of disrupting a constructive dialogue or making such a dialogue impossible.

The closure of the Lachin Corridor is a provocation, the ultimate goal of which is a new military escalation, and we should not carry steps that are desirable for those developing the military escalation scenario. One of the goals of this provocation and escalation is to hide the obvious need for political and official dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert and push it off the agenda. Actions should not be taken that contribute to this provocative task.

On the other hand, our diplomatic service, all our agencies and circles with foreign relations should redouble their efforts to increase the international visibility of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh and make it a subject of discussion in various instances. In this sense, a great deal of work has been done, but more is needed.

The working group formed in Armenia to support the people of Nagorno Karabakh in the management of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh must continue to take possible measures to resolve the operational issues that arise.”

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