YEREVAN, March 18. /ARKA/. As a local court in Yerevan resumed today the trial of ex-president Serzh Sargsyan who stands accused of embezzlement, the ex-president appealed to a crowd of supporters who gathered outside the court building saying that all those who believe that the status of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) has been resolved, whether they are inside Armenia or outside it, must understand that Artsakh, or rather what is left of it, will never be part of Azerbaijan.
‘Unfortunately, it was impossible to prevent the tragedy. But I see the path of rebirth. The capitulators must leave. The people must choose a government that must begin as soon as possible to improve the security of Armenia and the well-being of its citizens. There is no alternative,” he said.
“It took a whole bloody war that left thousands killed so that the eyes of our people open, so that they realize the intentions and essence of these authorities,” he said.
Sargsyan added that the Republican Party of Armenia will fight for a national and strong state.
“I am not going to leave the political trench. I have proved it with my life: I can easily give up my position, I can give up power in the name of the Armenian people, but I will never leave the trench that protects the Armenian statehood. You can be sure of this,” he said.
The ex-president said that their actions will be clear, calculated, systematized, purposeful and honest.
Sargsyan, businessman Barsegh Barseghyan, former Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetyan (he died from Covid-19 earlier this year) and two other former Agriculture Ministry officials are accused of embezzling 489 million drams (just over $1 million).
According to law-enforcement authorities, Sargsyan made sure that a government tender for supplies of subsidized diesel fuel to farmers was won by Barseghyan’s Flash company, rather than another fuel importer that offered a lower price.
On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and phosphorus weapons.
After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia.
A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor. Internally displaced persons and refugees are returning to Karabakh and adjacent regions, prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons and bodies of the dead are being exchanged.–0-