Caucasus, Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan

Armenia rules out diplomatic solution to conflict with Azerbaijan

Armenian Prime Minister has appealed for more volunteers to join the war against Azerbaijan: “Victory or defeat. There is no Armenia without Artsakh.”

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has ruled out in a video released through social media any diplomatic solution to the conflict with Azerbaijan over the occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh, linking the survival of the self-proclaimed Artsakh Republic – without international recognition – to that of Armenia itself.

“Everything that is diplomatically acceptable to the Armenian side… is no longer acceptable to Azerbaijan,” Pashinyan said, calling on all mayors and local governments to organise self-defence units. “We only have two options: victory or defeat, there is nothing else,” the Armenian premier warned, calling for more volunteers to enlist for the front in Karabakh.

There is no diplomatic solution to the Karabakh problem at the moment, and there will not be for a long time…”, declared Pashinyan. “There is no Armenia without Artsakh. Therefore, protecting the rights of the people of Artsakh means protecting the rights of the people of Armenia. And that means taking up arms and fighting until the occasion for an acceptable diplomatic solution arrives,” he insisted.

These statements come after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held two separate meetings with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Moscow to try to implement an effective and lasting ceasefire on the ground, something that has to date been impossible since both sides accuse each other of violating the truce and attacking the civilian population.

Azerbaijani authorities report that more than 60 civilians have been killed and 270 injured since fighting resumed in Karabakh in late September, bringing the number of homes damaged by Armenian attacks to more than 1,700. Days ago Pashinyan acknowledged that the Armenian forces were losing the war, but in his most recent statements he described the latest withdrawals as “strategic moves.”