MOSCOW—Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday told a group of Russian-Armenian business representatives in Moscow that he sees the future of Artsakh as being part of Armenia, a statement that as expected has angered Azerbaijan.
“As I have said before, [in the future] I see Artsakh as part of Armenia, and the path toward this status may consist of more steps than one. It may consist of two or three steps, but our vision of the future is definitely this. And there can be no doubt about that,” Pashinyan said.
His meeting with the Russian-Armenian business representatives took place Saturday following his much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In further discussing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Pashinyan told the audience that Azerbaijan should be probed about its intentions or willingness to make mutual concessions on the road to a resolution of the conflict.
“When answering this question I always emphasize that that question should be first addressed to Azerbaijan. Are they ready for mutual concessions? Because in a situation where Azerbaijan regularly makes threats against Armenia and Artsakh, saying that Armenia is ready for mutual concessions will be a sign of weakness. We will never do that. And we say that no one can speak to Armenia in the language of threats. We will not allow that,” added Pashinyan.
“As long as a comprehensive and complete, long-lasting and proven resolution of the Karabakh conflict hasn’t taken place, I believe that no citizen of Armenia, no government can express any other opinion,” added Pashinyan.
It didn’t take official Baku long to offer a rebuke to Pashinyan.
“The Armenian leadership, whether purposefully or through ignorance, makes a statement leading toward tensions and does it in a country that co-chairs the [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s] Minsk Group ahead of a meeting of the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan planned in New York. Once again we want to emphasize that such statements put the entire responsibility for the escalation of the situation on Armenia and its leadership,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hikmat Hajiyev said on Sunday.