Armenian PM says not ready for Russia-mediated peace talks with Azerbaijan

Published September 30, 2020
A man wearing a military uniform walks in front of a military commissariat in Armenia's capital on September 30. — AFP
A man wearing a military uniform walks in front of a military commissariat in Armenia's capital on September 30. — AFP

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday said peace talks with Azerbaijan under Russian mediation would be inappropriate, as fighting over the breakaway Nagorny Karabakh region entered a fourth day.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have defied international calls for a ceasefire over Karabakh — an ethnic-Armenian region that broke away from Azerbaijan in the 1990s — and are both claiming to have inflicted heavy losses on opposing forces.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked for decades in a territorial dispute over Karabakh and have blamed each other for sparking fierce clashes on Sunday.

“It isn't very appropriate to speak of a summit between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia at a time of intensive hostilities,” Pashinyan told Russia's Interfax news agency. “A suitable atmosphere and conditions are needed for negotiations.”

He said Armenia “at this point” is not planning to ask for intervention in the conflict by a Russia-led military alliance, the Organisation of the Collective Security Treaty that comprises several former Soviet republics including Armenia.

There have been 98 confirmed deaths in the fighting: 81 Armenian separatists and 17 civilians on both sides, including women and children.

Azerbaijan's defence ministry said that “intense fighting was continuing” on Wednesday, claiming that its forces have killed 2,300 separatist troops since hostilities broke out on Sunday.

The ministry said its troops had “destroyed 130 tanks, 200 artillery units, 25 anti-aircraft units, five ammunition depots, 50 anti-tank units, 55 military vehicles” as well as Armenia's Russian-produced S-300 long range surface-to-air missile system.

It said the separatists had “shelled the city of Terter, targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure".

Karabakh's defence ministry, on its part, said Azerbaijani forces “continued artillery shelling” of separatist positions along Karabakh's 180-kilometre frontline” on Wednesday morning.

Opinion

Editorial

After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...
Slow start
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Slow start

Despite high attendance, the NA managed to pass only a single money bill during this period.
Sindh lawlessness
Updated 15 Jun, 2024

Sindh lawlessness

A recently released report describes the law and order situation in Karachi as “worryingly poor”.
Punjab budget
15 Jun, 2024

Punjab budget

PUNJAB’S budget for 2024-25 provides much fodder to those who believe that the increased provincial share from the...