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Pashinyan on Snap Elections, Russia, Azerbaijan

After his return to Armenia from New York and Dushanbe, on September 29 Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed the nation on his Facebook livestream. He spoke of snap parliamentarian elections, the NK conflict and relations with Russia.


“In essence, the interaction was non-formal and as such, it was our first meeting. This time we had a very concrete discussion and outlined a few important points,” commented Pashinyan on his meeting with Ilyan Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan.

The first agreement was about reducing tension on the line of contact. “Specifically, we talked about taking measures to prevent frontline incidents. We agreed to give a task to ministers of defense to take concrete measures on the line of contact and reduce tension in general. I immediately informed Bako Sahakyan, President of Artsakh Republic, about this and this agreement was in essence acceptable for him too. I am happy to notice that last night was the most quiet, most peaceful night since I was elected Prime Minister. In terms of the modus of operation of the recent years, we kept on having casualties both in the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides, therefore this manhunt needs to stop.”

The negotiation process and negotiation methods were also discussed. “We have agreed to establish a certain channel of quick and direct communication, the technicalities still need to be discussed, our respective institutions will be tasked to develop such a system of quick communication. Every time we argue who started shooting, who violated the cease-fire, who shot first, who shot second. If we really mutually wish to maintain the ceasefire regiment, we need to have a means of quick communication.”

Pashinyan highlighted that a conducive environment was needed for the settlement of NK issue. “When we have shootings on a daily basis from both sides, it is counterlogical to speak about resolution. We really need to take such steps by which it will be possible to have a normal environment to speak about the principles of settlement, subtleties of the content of negotiations, and honestly, I am very happy that these agreements have been reached. I hope they will be kept. I think we all realize how important they are. On our part, we will do our best to keep the effectiveness of these agreements.”


Pashinyan also reflected on the private conversation he had with Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation in Dushanbe.

“We discussed a wide array of issues. Do you remember, that after the last meeting with the President of the Russian Federation I was saying that we can state of an increased level of Armenia-Russia relations and that these relations have never been so high, as now? And after the meeting today, I can avail myself a statement that the post-revolutionary transitional period of relations with Russia can be considered over.

․․․ As I mentioned during the publicly open part of the meeting in Moscow, I think that there are no issues that cannot be settled in our relations, there is a wonderful working spirit, that we can discuss any issue in spirit of mutual respect, respect for each other’s sovereignty, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

I have noticed that when I open up meetings with the President of RD speaking of sovereignty, a very particular resonance takes place, various comments are made. This is viewed as something exceptional, that the head of Armenia emphasizes in the meeting with the head of Russia that mutual relations need to be based on principles of mutual respect and respect for sovereignty. I want to state that there is nothing exceptional here, and I want to emphasize that this is the foundation on which our relations have been built since our very first meeting.”

Pashinyan mentioned that it was Russia’s president that addressed this question first. “In Sochi, at the Eurasian Economic Union Summit, after the meetings, when we were dining, Vladimir Putin said that he was aware of such widespread views that Russia, as a EEU member state does not demonstrate ample respect to the sovereignty of its partner states. He told me that he assured full respect in their attitude and emphasized the importance for this principle in our relations. He was saying, “We will work with each other and in the course of time you will be assured yourselves that I personally and the Russian Federation not only respect this principle based on promises, but in real action.” And I want to take note that time has proven the truthfulness of this statement.”

Snap Parliamentarian Elections

Pashinyan also spoke of holding snap parliamentary elections. “And now, as we have agreed, tomorrow we will start the process of preparing for snap parliamentarian elections. We need to hold talks with the parliamentarian parties on this issue. I hope that we will reach an agreement. I will not advance any precondition regarding the method for calling for snap elections. This is related to the fact that this political issue was very well articulated in the elections of Yerevan municipality. What was on the agenda was whether or not the parliamentarian parties are in favor or against snap parliamentarian elections. In municipal elections in Yerevan “My Step” coalition received 81% of votes, which is an unprecedented result. Such a high rate of votes means that the society of Armenia sets forward a clear demand for snap parliamentarian elections.

․․․ If questions arise, or doubts be expressed about the attitude of the people, we will think of ways to clarify the opinion of the people at larger scales, but I hope, this won’t be case and the existing arguments and facts will be enough to state that in the shortest possible period of time we need to hold snap parliamentarian elections in Armenia.

․․․ Our task is to reach a settlement to this issue in spirit of love of solidarity. It is inevitable that snap elections need to be held in Armenia and this needs to be done as soon as possible. Why as soon as possible? Because the entire international community and potential investors and the business environment, for all of them this is an important factor in order to be sure that at they can at least make mid-term plans. The municipal elections of Yerevan showed that the revolution in Armenia is irrevocable, there can be no doubt about this. Now, especially in this post-election period, when the emotions are on low tide, we have to discuss this issue of parliamentarian election with the parties in the parliament, the leadership of the parliament, other political forces in general and we need to reach solutions.”