Armenian leader Nikol Pashinyan is running Yerevan into “abyss and ruin” and has undermined his own country’s statehood. That’s according to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who led Baku to war victory against Armenia in 2020.
Aliyev’s comments came a day after rallies were held in Yerevan, following the Armenian General Staff’s demand that Prime Minister Pashinyan resign from his post.
“These events show that Armenia is in a difficult situation. There are processes going on that undermine Armenian statehood, and the former and current leadership of Armenia is to blame,” he said at a press conference for foreign journalists, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
A power struggle broke out in Yerevan on Thursday, when a joint statement published by Armenian military figures called for Pashinyan to resign, supported by former presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan. The PM is under pressure following a November ceasefire that paused fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, after an escalation in the Azeri-Armenian conflict over the region.
Nagorno-Karabakh is legally a part of Azerbaijan but has been controlled by Armenia since the 1990s. The conflict was paused with a Moscow-brokered armistice agreement, which many see as a humiliation for Yerevan and Pashinyan’s government.
On Thursday, the prime minister denounced the demand to resign as coup attempt and rallied his supporters in the center of the capital. Armenia’s opposition accuses Pashinyan of capitulating to Baku by ending the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, at the time, the prime minister said the agreement was the only way to end the bloodshed, with Azerbaijan in a strategically dominant position.
Following Baku’s victory, President Aliyev has not toned down the rhetoric, telling Yerevan that it is time to move on and remove Nagorno-Karabakh’s status from the agenda.
“I advise Armenia and the Armenian people to talk less about this issue, not to build false hopes,” he said. “To raise this issue means to serve not peace, but confrontation.”
As part of the Azeri-Armenian truce, Yerevan and Baku agreed that Azerbaijan could keep the areas they had regained control of during the conflict. Armenia also agreed to withdraw from neighboring regions. Furthermore, Russian peacekeeping troops were deployed to the contact line.
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