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16 Sep, 2022 11:22

Armenian PM comments on martial law

Nikol Pashinyan says the Security Council discussed imposing the measure
Armenian PM comments on martial law

Martial law will not be declared in Armenia for now, despite the ongoing hostilities on the border with Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said.

Speaking on Friday at a cabinet meeting, Pashinyan revealed that the country’s Security Council “discussed the possibility of imposing martial law in the country, [but] decided that there’s no need for that for now.” He added that Armenians who want to defend the country are welcome to volunteer.

The prime minister acknowledged that the situation along the troubled border remains strained.

According to Pashinyan, 135 Armenian military personnel have been killed since fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan broke out on Tuesday.

That same day, Yerevan requested assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which it is a member. The alliance, which includes Russia and a number of Central Asian nations, dispatched a monitoring group that has already arrived in Armenia. The mission is tasked with developing proposals for defusing tensions in the region.

According to officials in Yerevan, the latest round of fighting began after the Azerbaijani military shelled several Armenian villages. Baku insists it was only acting in self-defense following a “massive provocation” by Armenia in several areas. Azerbaijan had accused Armenian forces of mining supply routes and shelling its military positions.

Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan on Friday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev described Armenia’s latest actions as a “huge blow to the process of normalizing relations between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry claimed Baku had suggested declaring a humanitarian ceasefire. The diplomats also added that Baku is not interested in further escalation.

Yerevan, though, says the truce has already been violated due to continued shelling by Azerbaijan.

The conflict between the two nations revolves around the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is mostly populated by ethnic Armenians. Yerevan has backed the region’s push for independence ever since it sought to break away from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. Baku claims the territory as its own.

In 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a 44-day war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which ended with a Russia-brokered truce, and Azerbaijan seizing nearly half of the region.

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