YEREVAN, September 19. /ARKA/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Tuesday after visiting Artsakh (Karabakh) that things there are quite tense, but as a whole, they are stable and controllable.
“Any case, Armenia’s armed forces are steadily controlling the situation,” he said in a live broadcast on his Facebook page.
He said he has discussed with the Artsakh president and representatives of the armed forces the current situation in Artsakh, the stance taken by Armenia on the matter and strategic issues.
“We have clearly placed it on record that there are no doubts that the armed forces handle the situation and give the necessary response to Azerbaijani troops’ provocations,” the premier said.
But it doesn’t mean, he said, that “we want or provoke a war”.
“We, for sure, are ready for negotiations, as we have repeatedly said,” Pashinyan said. “We discussed the matter with the Artsakh president. We are ready for peaceful talks, but we are also ready for a war. This is a very important statement, and everybody in Armenia and outside should understand it.”
He said that this statement is based on confidence in the army, people and on the phenomenal unity existing now.
Nikol Pashinyan said that he has also toured the frontline as part of his visit to Artsakh and had very interesting meetings with people who are on combat alert mission here.
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it.
Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations.
Тalks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France. -0—–