Former Artsakh State Minister Ruben Vardanyan, in an interview with a Russian TV station today, said Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan has no right to make any decision on behalf of the people of Artsakh.
Vardanyan, who was dismissed as minister, said the people of Armenia and Artsakh will not accept any peace deal with Baku negotiated by Pashinyan.
Vardanyan claimed that Pashinyan’s approval rating, already very low, will now sink to zero because of his remarks that Yerevan recognizes Nagorno Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan.
Vardanyan said that Pashinyan’s policies are “defeatist” given that he was in power when Armenian forces lost the 2020 Karabakh war. He said the defeat is a burden that Pashinyan can’t psychologically overcome.
“Despite the fact that he was re-elected in 2021, it is still visible that the burden of pressure is so great on him that he has not overcome that defeatist mood in himself. And he does not realize that everything he says is not only recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, but also that it will be followed by many fatal actions that will be impossible to stop. So, either he doesn’t understand what he’s doing, but in this case, a big question arises: how he can be prime minister, or he does understand what he’s doing, and this is even more terrifying because what he is doing will lead to disastrous consequences for the people living in Artsakh, as well as for Armenia,” Vardanyan said.
Vardanyan said the west and Russia are vying for influence in the South Caucasus and the outcome will largely depend on whether Artsakh Armenians clearly show all sides that they will never accept Azerbaijani rule.
When asked about the possibility of a new war, Vardanyan pointed to historic examples (Vietnam, Cuba) where small nations have defended their right to independence in face of superior forces.
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