In a recent exclusive interview with Artsakh Public Television, Samvel Shahramanyan, the President of the Republic of Artsakh, shed light on the significant developments and negotiations that unfolded in Artsakh during September.
President Shahramanyan disclosed that Armenian authorities were well-informed about the agreement’s content and actively engaged in discussions.
The President recounted the challenging situation when the Azerbaijani military was in close proximity to Stepanakert. This prompted the initiation of negotiations aimed at halting the military operation. He had to establish direct contact with high-ranking Azerbaijani representatives, whom he was familiar with previously. After extensive negotiations, on September 20, an agreement calling for a cessation of military operation was accepted, which included provisions for the dissolution of the Armed Forces, the surrender of weapons, and the scheduling of a meeting in Yevlakh.
The President emphasized that leaving Artsakh with heavy military equipment/weaponry via the Azerbaijani checkpoint on the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor and the Azerbaijani base was an unacceptable option for Azerbaijan. So, it was decided to transfer the weaponry to the Russian side for destruction. The President addressed the significant casualties resulting from the Stepanakert explosion, attributing them to the fact that many individuals sought refuge in a restricted depot of the Artsakh Defense Army where the explosion occurred. Basic safety protocols were not adhered to in that location. They took the gasoline from the depot by themselves. A criminal case has been initiated. President Shahramanyan concluded the interview by emphasizing their primary agenda: engaging in negotiations aimed at enabling the people of Artsakh to return to their homeland. He underlined the importance of initiating discussions about Artsakh’s status and the safe return of its residents, a matter of interest for various world political centers, and even Azerbaijan, as the international community holds Baku accountable for the forced displacement of Artsakh Armenians.