The issue of the un-demarcated border has been raised since May when Armenia first accused Azerbaijan of violating what were Soviet-era administrative borders between the once socialist republics within the USSR.
Armenia said then that Azerbaijan had advanced several kilometers inside its sovereign territory at two sections of the eastern border. Azerbaijan denied the accusations, claiming that its troops were stationed in territories that Baku regained as a result of a six-week war against ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020.
The latest deadly skirmishes occurred along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on November 16 and were halted due to a ceasefire reached through Russia’s mediation.
Most questions during today’s question-and-answer session in the Armenian parliament were addressed to the prime minister and regarded the latest clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
When asked to comment on Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov’s statement that a joint commission should be set up to settle border issues between Yerevan and Baku, Pashinian said that “embarking on the process of delimitation and demarcation of borders is our agenda.”
“We have stated about it also in our government program. Therefore, if Azerbaijan accepts this agenda, we need to understand what it is that hinders it,” he said.
Pashinian reminded that still in May he said at a government session that there was a document on the table that he was going to sign.
“But why wasn’t that document signed? [The document wasn’t signed] because it did not reach the stage of the offer of signing,” the Armenian leader said.
According to Pashinian, since then Russia three times made proposals on border demarcation and in all three cases Armenia agreed to move forward based on them. “In my impression the process did not move forward because of Azerbaijan’s not giving a concrete answer,” said Pashinian, stressing that Armenia’s proposals on border delimitation and demarcation made in May still remain valid.
Pashinian also commented on repeated public offers from Azerbaijan to sign a peace treaty with Armenia.
“We, in our turn, have also offered and are offering to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan. We have said that the whole purpose of the OSCE Minsk Group’s negotiation process has been to reach a point of signing a peace treaty. This is not a new thing. I want to say that all negotiating packages so far have had as their end goal the signing of a peace treaty. So, it is strange for me to hear all the time that Azerbaijan offers to sign a peace treaty with Armenia and there is no response from Armenia,” Pashinian said.
“When we speak about a full restoration of the negotiation process, and when we engage in the negotiation process, our goal is to sign a peace treaty. The signing of a peace treaty should be preceded by work to agree on the text of the treaty. This requires quite a large amount of work. We have never refused to do this work. On the contrary, we have expressed our readiness to do it, and we also consider it to be our agenda,” he added.
Regarding the work of a Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani working group at the level of deputy prime ministers on the unblocking of regional transport links, Pashinian said that the impression that it has stopped is wrong. “Work is being done on a daily basis, simply for now it hasn’t been able to achieve a concrete result,” he said.