After the ceasefire, the Azerbaijanis tried to go down to the village 2-3 times, to advance from their positions; the Azerbaijani soldiers are stationed in front of Amaras Monastery, on the mountain of Jivan village. They are trying to occupy new positions until the final border is drawn; it is of strategic importance for them. Father Geghard Hovhannisyan, the abbot of Amaras Monastery of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), told this to Yerkir.am.
Amaras monastery complex is located in Machkalashen village of the Martuni region, which has never been an Azerbaijani territory, says Father Hovhannisyan, and since 25-30% of Martuni is now occupied by Azerbaijan, the latter’s army has come so close to Amaras Monastery that it has actually become a border line.
In terms of safety, the monastery is quite vulnerable now, and the abbot expresses his concerns in this regard.
Father Hovhannisyan noted that they have already applied to the Russian side in order to ensure overnight accommodation at the monastery, asking them to set up a Russian outpost or a night shift there. At the moment, Armenian soldiers are on duty at Amaras, and a Russian flag has been placed on the monastery.
The doors of Amaras Monastery are open for visitors, but the abbot urges to be careful, asks the pilgrims not to come late at night and not to walk around the area for a long time. Besides, according to Father Hovhannisyan, there is a need to remove bombs and shells from the area.
According to the abbot, after settling the safety issues, the Amaras monastery complex will have several monks who will spend the night there; this decision was made by the order and request of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.