Azerbaijan Threatened Drastic Steps if Artsakh Rejects “Azerbaijani Integration”  – Arayik Harutyunyan

Azerbaijan Threatened Drastic Steps if Artsakh Rejects “Azerbaijani Integration” – Arayik Harutyunyan

On March 6, Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan convened an expanded meeting of the Security Council of the Artsakh Republic with the participation of the political forces of the National Assembly and heads of regional administrations.

As Armenpress was told by the main information department of the Artsakh President’s Office, before the start of the meeting, those present observed a minute of silence in memory of the policemen of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic, who died on March 5 as a result of Azerbaijani sabotage, after which President Harutyunyan made a statement.

According to the head of state, on February 24, the Artsakh side met with the Azerbaijani side through the mediation and in the presence of the command of the Russian peacekeeping forces stationed in Artsakh to discuss humanitarian and infrastructure issues in the current situation. Then an agreement was reached on a second meeting, which took place on March 1 under the leadership of Security Council Secretary Samvel Shahramanyan. There were four issues on the agenda of the meetings: unblocking the Lachin corridor, restoring the supply of electricity from Armenia to Artsakh, uninterrupted supply of natural gas, and restoring the activity of the Kashen mine.

“During the second meeting, the representative of Azerbaijan tried to discuss political topics using the word “integration”, but Mr. Shahramanyan prevented this, stating that in case of discussing political issues, the issue of recognition of the independence of Artsakh by Azerbaijan should be raised. He added that they are not authorized to discuss political issues during this meeting,” Harutyunyan said.

According to him, then the Azerbaijani side conveyed through its channels that either Artsakh adopt the Azerbaijani integration policy, or there will be no solution to existing problems, but, on the contrary, tougher and more drastic steps will follow.

“We did not accept, we do not accept, and today I want to reiterate that this is not only a decision of the Security Council, but also the consent of the overwhelming majority of our people that we will not deviate from our right to independence and self-government. And this means that in the near future we will have different developments, situations that we must overcome. We have a choice: either to continue the struggle we have chosen, or if there are such sentiments in society that we should accept the proposal submitted by Azerbaijan, then people have the opportunity to speak out within the framework of their civil rights and say that the path we have chosen , incorrect, formalize these sentiments, form a new government in the country.”

Referring to the tragic case of the death of police officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh as a result of the Azerbaijani sabotage operation on March 5, the President of the Republic noted that, unfortunately, such provocations are not ruled out in the near future.

“We must realize that we have a long struggle ahead of us, and within this struggle there will be such situations, and it will be necessary to take preventive measures. I discussed our problems with the state minister and today I want to instruct the government by the decision of the Security Council to develop a program for food and energy security, because we must calculate all scenarios,” Arayik Harutyunyan said.

At the meeting of the Security Council, Minister of Defense Kamo Vardanyan delivered a report on the operational situation. Then an exchange of views took place, a number of decisions were made on the agenda of the meeting.