If the situation of the people of Artsakh does not normalize, we will resort to tougher measures. Arayik Harutyunyan

Artsakh Republic President has addressed the nation speaking about the grave situation and upcoming actions amid the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation caused by the Azerbaijani blockade.

We present the message below.

“Dear compatriots,

It has been more than seven months that the people of Artsakh have been fighting against the new Azerbaijani crime against humanity, the blockade. The obstacles to the movement of Artsakh citizens, vehicles and goods, the complete ban on the delivery of even humanitarian goods in the last month, the continuous disruption of gas and electricity supply, periodic military aggressions and provocations, psychological terrorism are aimed at suppressing and breaking the free will and right of self-determination of the people of Artsakh, to subjugate them by force and ultimately lead to ethnic cleansing.

The people and authorities of the Republic of Artsakh have repeatedly expressed their positions, of which I would like to highlight the following:

1. We are fighting for the realization, recognition and protection of our inalienable right to a dignified life and self-determination in our own homeland, and this right is natural and not subject to negotiation and concession.

2. In the conditions of the systemic policy of ethnic hatred and discrimination against the Armenian people prevailing in Azerbaijan, especially the Armenians of Artsakh are facing a real threat of physical destruction, which is clearly evidenced by the 2020 crimes against humanity manifested by the war and the current blockade. In such circumstances, recognizing and protecting our right to external self-determination is an indispensable means not only of managing our own destiny, but also of guaranteeing the physical existence of an entire indigenous people.

3. Considering unacceptable the 2020 war, its criminal methods and consequences, at the same time we had to take into account the new reality formed by the tripartite declaration of November 9, hoping that at least it will provide a certain stable environment for a long time for our people to live in safety and dignity in their homeland. However, during this time, we had a series of military aggressions by Azerbaijan, and two years after the end of the war, already a blockade, then a full siege, violating not only the well-known norms of international law, but also many provisions of the Tripartite Declaration, regarding the Kashatagh (Lachin) corridor, the guarantees of the Russian peacekeeping troops and other aspects.

4. At the same time, we have always been open to discussing with the Azerbaijani side all the components of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict and the concerns of the parties, we have always shown ourselves as a constructive party, realizing our vulnerable situation, but striving to preserve our vital rights and interests. However, Azerbaijan never wanted to have a real dialogue with us, encouraged by international impunity, choosing the path of increasing oppression and subjugation.

Throughout the blockade, we hoped that various actors of the international community would lift the blockade, prevent its further deepening. However, we have heard only good words. We haven’t seen the practical implementation of either the Tripartite Declaration, the orders of the UN International Court of Justice, the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, or the calls of international organizations, individual states and other actors.

The situation of the people of Artsakh has become more and more complicated.

After the exhausting blockade that has been lasting since December and the complete siege of the last month, now in Artsakh we have a great shortage of food, fuel, medicine, hygiene and other basic necessities; almost a complete suspension of agricultural work, continuous disruptions of water and communication infrastructqures, disruptions in the work of hospitals, bakeries and other vital facilities due to the lack of alternative solutions for power supply; malnutrition of children, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups; hundreds of separated families, etc.,  In a few days, this condition will become much more acute with all its irreversible consequences.

Dear compatriots,

Taking into account the current dire situation, I have decided to resort to an extreme measure, that is, to join the sit-in started by many citizens in Stepanakert’s Revival Square from this very moment. This is an additional effort and alarm to attract international practical attention, to urge the international community to fulfill its obligations, to push the Armenian people and all our friends to active and immediate actions.

With this sit-in, we expect that Armenia, Russia, the USA, France, the European Union, the UN Security Council and other authorized bodies, as well as all other related actors, will refrain from encouraging Azerbaijan and ignoring its  further aggressive and criminal actions.

Joining the sit-in that has started is an extreme step towards the fulfillment of my constitutional, civil and national obligations, in this situation I have not found another more effective option.

During these days, I will have the opportunity to communicate with all the main actors and groups of the popular movement, society in Renaissance Square, to discuss together what we need to do and to make appropriate decisions together and implement them. If within a week the situation of the people of Artsakh does not return to a more or less stable and normal state with international intervention, then after that we will resort to tougher actions both in Artsakh and outside of it.

May God protect Artsakh and the people of Artsakh,” Artsakh Republic President, Arayik Hartyunyan said, in particular.

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