“They are trying to create legitimacy for a new war,” he said in televised remarks aired late on Monday. “Whether they plan the new war in three months, three years or thirty years is a different issue.”
In that regard, Pashinian pointed to continuing Azerbaijani claims that Yerevan is reluctant to negotiate a peace treaty with Baku, demarcate the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and open it to commerce. He said that the Azerbaijani side itself cancelled a fresh meeting of senior Armenian and Azerbaijani officials which was due to take place in Brussels on Monday. It has also not responded to an Armenian proposal to organize a face-to-face meeting of the foreign ministers of the two states, he said.
On Sunday Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev again implicitly threatened to resort to military action. He said that Armenia will “regret it” if it delays the border demarcation.
Aliyev voiced similar threats earlier this month when he warned Yerevan against continuing to oppose the opening of a land corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave.
Armenian officials again ruled out such an extraterritorial corridor afterwards, arguing that Armenian-Azerbaijani agreements brokered by Russia call for only conventional transport links between the two South Caucasus states.
Pashinian said on Monday that Baku itself is violating those agreements by breaching the ceasefire regime in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and continuing to hold dozens of Armenian prisoners.
Pashinian adopted a conciliatory policy towards Azerbaijan following Armenia’s defeat in the 2020 war over Karabakh. He has since repeatedly promised that it will usher in an “era of peaceful development” for Armenia and the entire region.
Pashinian sparked weeks of antigovernment protests in Yerevan after signaling in April his readiness to “lower the bar” on the status of Karabakh acceptable to Armenia. Armenian opposition leaders accused him of helping Azerbaijan regain full control over the Armenian-populated territory.
One of those leaders, Ishkhan Saghatelian, claimed on Tuesday that Pashinian’s warning about a new war with Azerbaijan is aimed at discouraging Armenians from fighting for regime change. In a Facebook post, Saghatelian insisted that Pashinian’s removal from power is on the contrary the only way to “save Armenia and Artsakh from this destructive course.”