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Pashinian Warns Of ‘Large-Scale’ Azeri Attack On Armenia

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Thursday rejected Azerbaijan’s continuing demands for legislative changes in Armenia and said that Baku may be planning “large-scale” military aggression against his country.

Pashinian complained that despite his readiness for compromise, the Azerbaijani leadership is pursuing a “policy of military coercion” in an effort to clinch more Armenian territory and other concessions from Yerevan. He said that it is reluctant to delimit the long border between the two states where four Armenian soldiers were killed in an Azerbaijani ceasefire violation on Tuesday.

“Our analysis shows that there may be one reason for this and that reason may be, for example, the launch of military operations at some sections of the border with the prospect of turning the military escalation into a full-scale war against Armenia,” he said during a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

Pashinian went on to reject Azerbaijani statements regarding the Armenian constitution and other legislative acts, saying that they constitute a violation of Armenia’s sovereignty and interference in its internal affairs.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev reiterated on Wednesday that he will not sign a peace treaty discussed by the two sides “if Armenia does not bring its legislation to a normal state.” He said that legislation contains territorial claims to Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is sworn in for a new term in office, February 14, 2024.

Aliyev said on February 1 that Armenia should remove from its constitution a reference to its 1990 declaration of independence which in turn mentions a 1989 unification act adopted by the legislative bodies of Soviet Armenia and the then Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast.

Pashinian countered on Thursday that during their peace talks and written exchanges last year two sides agreed to make sure that they “cannot refer to their respective laws to refuse to comply with any provisions of the peace treaty.”

“Therefore, there are no legal provisions in Armenia that prevent the implementation of the peace treaty,” he said.

Pashinian himself declared last month, before Aliyev’s statements on the issue, that Armenia needs a new constitution reflecting the “new geopolitical environment” in the region. His political foes and other critics say that he did so under Azerbaijani pressure. They also maintain that Pashinian’s appeasement policy will not stop Azerbaijan from demanding further Armenian concessions and resorting to military action for that purpose.

Pashinian has denied that he wants to scrap the current Armenian constitution at the behest of Baku. Still, he has said that peace with Azerbaijan will be impossible as long as the constitutional reference to the 1990 declaration remains in place.

Aliyev on Wednesday also indicated that he still has no intention to resume peace talks with Armenia mediated by the European Union and the United States. “We don’t need mediators to normalize relations with Yerevan,” he said after being sworn in for a fifth term in office.


Azatutyun, 2024



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