New President of Artsakh Samvel Shahramanyan

YEREVAN — In an about-face, exiled Artsakh Republic President Samvel Shahramanyan has annulled his September 28 order to dissolve the government by the end of 2023.

A decree signed by Shahramanyan disbanded all government bodies and said that the NKR, which had been set up in September 1991, will cease to exist on January 1. It came just over a week after Azerbaijan’s military offensive that forced Karabakh’s army to lay down weapons and all residents were forcefully exiled to Armenia.

Speaking in Yerevan on October 20, Shahramanyan said he had to sign the decree in order to stop the hostilities and enable the Karabakh Armenians to safely flee their homeland. Karabakh lawmakers likewise said early this month that the decision demanded by Baku helped to prevent a “genocide.”

Shahramanyan’s adviser, Vladimir Grigoryan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that the Karabakh leader invalidated the controversial decree on October 19.

“This means that the Republic of Artsakh, its government and other bodies will continue to operate after 2023,” he said, adding that all senior Karabakh officials will keep performing their duties without getting paid.

“We can consider the September 28 decree null and void,” stressed Grigorian. He did not say why its invalidation was not made public earlier.

Grigoryan didn’t say why the nullification wasn’t publicized earlier.


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