YEREVAN, December 25. /ARКА/. The list of Armenian villages located close to the border with Azerbaijan, which are eligible to government assistance, will be expanded, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mesrop Arakelyan said at a press conference on Friday.
He said the list of border villages will soon be concretized and new villages that have become border settlements as a result of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh will be expanded and the law on social assistance will apply to them as well.
The minister recalled that under a government assistance program, residents of border villages were provided compensation for damage they sustained during the hostilities, in particular, for the damage caused to their homes.
After the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) on November 9, more than 190 settlements in Artsakh and adjacent seven regions came under the control of Azerbaijan.
As a result, the borders of the Syunik region in the south of Armenia (including the administrative center of Kapan) appeared to be in close proximity to the new borders of Azerbaijan, drawn up during the Soviet times.
Residents of some settlements in Syunik were protesting against the decision of Armenian armed forces to dismantle their military posts and withdraw from strategically important heights, which came under control of Azerbaijani armed forces.
Earlier, the mayor of the town of Kapan Gevorg Parsyan said that as a result “the enemy will approach our borders and will be at a distance of only one kilometer from us.” Parsyan noted also that a section of the road leading from Kapan to four villages – Khdrants, Kapan, Yeghvard and Uzhanis – came under Azerbaijani control.
On December 24, the head of the Shurnukh village in Syunik, Hakob Arshakyan, said that the Azerbaijanis were carrying out delimitation work in the village and that part of the village -12 houses, would be passed to the Azerbaijani side.
Determining Armenia’s positions on the border with Azerbaijan in the southern province of Syunik may result in some painful situations, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Thursday during a government meeting.
“Work is underway in Syunik to determine border positions, which is necessary from the point of view of ensuring the security of Syunik and Armenia as a whole,” he said.
“Not a single millimeter can be ceded from the internationally recognized territory of Armenia. On the other hand, this does not mean that these processes should be considered as demarcation and delimitation of state borders; these are completely different issues,” Pashinyan said. -0-