BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan considered that if Yerevan had returned five regions in the vicinity of Karabakh to Baku a year ago, the situation would have been better than it is now, but no one saw that as a correct option.
“When we see the situation we are in now, we can say with a look at the past, that if we agreed a year ago to the formula for returning the five regions, the situation would have been better. But was there anyone in Armenia who believed that this is the right way?”
He continued, “(There were) a very few, and I would not have believed that either, because the matter was shrouded in a lot of ambiguity,” noting that the alternative to the armed conflict was to return the five regions, which the Armenians consider a “security belt” for Karabakh.
Pashinyan explained that the Armenian side did not agree to such a step in the first days after the escalation of the conflict in Karabakh in September, because the combat operations were successful in the initial period, while there was no change in the conditions for returning the areas.
The Armenian Prime Minister said, “We did so after it became clear that there was no opportunity for a transformation in the war, and the task was to avoid the worst-case scenario of the development of events.”
Pashinyan described what is happening in Karabakh as a disaster, and said that he personally bears responsibility for it.
Earlier this week, Pashinyan said that he signed a tripartite statement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan regarding the cessation of fighting in Karabakh after the army recommended that to do so.