YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan proposed that Russia deploy more troops along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan after Armenian and Azerbaijani forces stationed there again exchanged fire early on Thursday.
“Contrary to efforts of the Armenian government and the international community, the situation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is not stabilizing,” said Pashinyan. “Azerbaijan is carrying on with aggressive rhetoric and actions while ignoring the international community’s proposals aimed at a political and long-term settlement of the conflict.”
Pashinyan noted that under the mandate granted by the people the government is going to take all necessary measures to ensure security, stability and peace in the region.
The Prime Minister noted that with its actions Azerbaijan is attempting to disrupt any opportunity for dialogue, and keeps discrediting the November 9th and January 11th trilateral statements with its rhetoric and actions.
“In particular, irrespective of point 8 of the November 9th statement, Azerbaijan continues the scam trials of Armenian captives, sentencing them to long-term imprisonment,” the acting PM said. He drew attention to the fact that most of them were taken captive after November 9 in the zones of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers.
“If we combine this fact with the large-scale anti-propaganda Azerbaijan has been carrying out against the Russian peacekeepers and the fact that Azerbaijan is yet to sign the peacekeepers’ mandate, it becomes apparent that this is a series of actions against peacekeepers, i.e. peace and stability in Nagorno Karabakh,” Pashinyan stated.
“Given the current situation, I think it makes sense to consider the deployment of Russian border guard outposts along the entire Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” he said at the start of a weekly meeting of his cabinet. “It would enable us to carry out border delimitation and demarcation without a risk of armed clashes.”
“We are going to discuss this subject with our Russian partners,” added Pashinyan.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quick to comment on Pashinyan’s proposal. The RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as telling reporters that Moscow is making continuous efforts to strengthen the ceasefire regime and help Yerevan and Baku take confidence-building measures.
Asked whether Russia is ready to deploy border guards along Armenia’s entire border with Azerbaijan, Peskov said: “Contacts with Yerevan are going on. I have nothing to add.”