Russia, US and France should push for Karabakh peace more actively – Armenian PM – World

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LONDON, September 30 / TASS /. Russia, the United States and France, who are co-chairs of the Minsk group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, should lobby more actively for peace and stability in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the BBC on Tuesday.“Moscow is formally and legally a strategic partner of Armenia, but the fact is that today Moscow is completely neutral”, declared the Armenian Prime Minister. “Russia is a member of the Minsk Group co-chair and, to be honest, it is its duty to be neutral. But I think Russia, USA and France should not only support stability and peace, but maybe try harder for it. ”

According to Pashinyan, the majority of the foreign media have a “huge misunderstanding about the heart of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, which they try to describe as a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

“This is not a territorial dispute, it is a simple attempt by the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to use the right to self-determination,” said the Armenian prime minister.

According to him, Armenia cannot unilaterally declare a ceasefire with Azerbaijan, because the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh faces an “existential threat”.

“If Nagorno-Karabakh does not fight, all Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh will be killed, without any exaggeration,” he said.

In an interview with The Spectator, published on Tuesday, Pashinyan said the current escalation of the conflict was a coordinated action by Turkey and Azerbaijan, where “Turkey is handling the whole process” and “is not trying. to hide that ”.

According to him, Ankara’s foreign policy reflects its “imperial aspirations”, destabilizes the situation in the South Caucasus and in the Mediterranean region and “has nothing to do with the strengthening of NATO”.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh worsened on September 27, when Azerbaijan said its positions had come under heavy fire from Armenia. Armenia, in turn, said the Azerbaijani army had organized an offensive towards Nagorno-Karabakh. He said a number of settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, including its administrative center Stepanakert, had been bombed by Azerbaijan. Both sides report casualties, including among civilians. Armenia and Azerbaijan imposed martial law and announced the mobilization.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh highlands region, a disputed territory that was part of Azerbaijan before the break-up of the Soviet Union, but mainly populated by Armenians from strain, erupted in February 1988 after the autonomy of Nagorno-Karabakh. The region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions escalated and exploded into full-scale military action for control of the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control. Nagorno-Karabakh settlement talks have been underway since 1992 under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs – Russia, France and the United States.

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