Artsakh’s (Nagorno-Karabakh’s) leadership strongly condemned Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday night for confirming his plans to recognize the Armenian-populated territory as part of Azerbaijan.
“Today’s statement by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in which he reaffirmed his readiness to incorporate Artsakh into Azerbaijan has caused great indignation and anger in the Republic of Artsakh,” read a statement unanimously approved by the Karabakh parliament during an emergency session.
“For us, any statement by Nikol Pashinyan ignoring the sovereignty of the Republic of Artsakh, the right of self-determination of our people and the fact of its realization and any document based on it are unacceptable and null and void,” it said.
The statement said that Pashinyan’s plans run counter to Armenia’s constitution and other legal acts as well as a 1991 referendum held in Karabakh.
Speaking at a news conference in Yerevan earlier in the day, Pashinyan reiterated that his government is ready to recognize “Azerbaijan’s 86,600-square-kilometer territorial integrity” through a bilateral peace treaty. “The 86,600 square kilometers include Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.
The Armenian premier again called for direct talks between Baku and Stepanakert on “the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“What rights, security and dialogue can we talk about when Azerbaijan has been illegally keeping Artsakh under complete blockade for 162 days?” countered, Artur Tovmasian, the Karabakh parliament speaker.
Ashot Danielian, another lawmaker allied to Arayik Harutiunian, the Karabakh president, branded Pashinyan a “capitulator.”
The Karabakh leaders have repeatedly criticized Pashinyan since he stopped invoking the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination a year ago. The region’s main political factions charged in April that his current views on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict are “consistent with the position of official Baku.”