YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a Security Council meeting late on Sunday that tension was still growing in some parts of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
His statement came after reports that Azerbaijani troops that had earlier advanced several kilometers into the territory of Armenia near Sev Lich (Black Lake) area in Syunik region agreed to retreat to their previous positions after talks mediated by the commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to the government press office, the Sunday meeting discussed the course of negotiations to resolve the border crisis and to identify the steps which are necessary to ensure the inviolability of the sovereign territory of Armenia.
“The negotiations will continue on Wednesday,” Pashinyan said. “The negotiations have one theme: Azerbaijani troops must leave Armenian territory.”
According to Pashinyan, Armenia must exploit political means to end the standoff. He added that if political means fail to produce result, then military-political mechanisms should be involved.
“There have been no major military-political changes: some groups have left, but the situation has not changed. This means that we must continue to use the CSTO mechanisms… Our position is clear: Azerbaijani servicemen must leave the territory of the Republic of Armenia,” he said.
“This means that we must continue to activate mechanisms of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and continue to work on activating Russian-Armenian allied mechanisms,” he said.
Speaking about border demarcations Pashinyan said. “The processes of opening the communication routes and adjusting the borders are as necessary for Azerbaijan as for the Republic of Armenia. And in terms of adjusting the borders, there is a subtlety. In recent days, Azerbaijani propaganda has been trying to promote the idea that the border adjustment process should take place in a bilateral format. This cannot happen for the simple reason that Armenia and Azerbaijan, in fact, have no relations with each other. And just like the process of opening communications, the adjustment of borders should take place in a tripartite format, and agreements on this have been reached several times, and the violation or disruption of those agreements is, in my opinion, the reason for the actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces and the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan.”
Shortly after the Security Council meeting Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page that tensions at “some portions” of the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontier have risen in the last few hours due to increased “aggressiveness of Azerbaijani forces.” He did not elaborate.