“And Armenia has given its consent to participate in the initial stage of this work,” Andranik Kocharian, head of the parliamentary defense committee, added during today’s news briefings.
Another Civil Contract lawmaker Eduard Aghajanian, who heads the parliamentary foreign relations committee, said that Russia has already been informed about Armenia’s position in writing.
Still during a cabinet meeting on Thursday Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said that Russia’s Defense Ministry had presented proposals on “the preparatory stage of border delimitation and demarcation” between Armenia and Azerbaijan. He said that the proposals were acceptable to Yerevan.
Asked to elaborate about what proposals were made to Armenia, Aghajanian said: “It is too early to talk about their content at the moment, we are talking about beginning preparatory work. After reaching an agreement on certain technical issues Armenia will be ready to form a commission to start the actual work.”
What appear to be fresh Russian proposals were revealed two days after the latest clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan along their un-demarcated border. Armenia admitted some territorial losses in what it claimed to be Azerbaijani aggression against its sovereign territory.
Pashinian said in parliament on Wednesday that Azerbaijan has occupied a total of 41 square kilometers of sovereign Armenian territory since starting border incursions last May.
Ruling party lawmakers today did not rule out that a possible exchange of territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the context of Azerbaijani enclaves that existed during the Soviet times may come up during discussions as part of the border delimitation and demarcation process.
“At this moment I have no idea what maps will be used during the process and what logic will be applied. I think it is too early to speak about this issue now,” the head of the parliamentary foreign relations committee said.
A representative of the opposition Hayastan faction, meanwhile, accused Pashinian of trying to implement some agreements “reached behind the people’s back under the guise of ensuring peace against the backdrop of border tensions.”
“By and large, the government is trying to use what happened – the losses, the casualties – for a false peace formula,” Artsvik Minasian claimed.
Hayk Mamijanian, secretary of the other opposition Pativ Unem faction, claimed that “it turns out that Armenia enters the process of border demarcation under the threat of use of force.”
Another Pativ Unem lawmaker Tigran Abrahamian suggested that “if Azerbaijan continues its current behavior and the Armenian authorities continue to show their undignified attitude, in a year or two Azerbaijan will not need to delimitate and demarcate its borders with Armenia, because the problem they [Azerbaijanis] are trying to solve through seeming negotiations, in fact, will have been solved through the use of force.”
RFE/RL’s Armenian Service asked Civil Contract’s lawmakers to comment on what stage Armenia’s application to Russia for military assistance is at the moment.
Aghajanian said that Armenia had applied to Russia to restore its territorial integrity and the problem is expected to be solved as a result of the proposed demarcation and delimitation process.
“Russia’s military intervention is not an end in itself. The most important issue at the moment is to ensure the inviolability of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, and border delimitation and demarcation is one of the tools that will ensure that result,” the pro-government lawmaker explained.