Armenia confirms Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijani sovereign territory
Armenia's Prime Minister says that this recognition places the responsibility to prevent "ethnic cleansing" in Nagorno-Karabakh on the international community.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has officially acknowledged that his country recognizes the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region as part of Azerbaijan's sovereign territory.
His statement came in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks on Tuesday, where Putin expressed limitations on Russia's involvement in Nagorno-Karabakh following Armenia's public recognition of Azerbaijan's claim to the Armenian-majority region.
In an interview with Politico published on Wednesday, the Prime Minister emphasized that it is the international community's responsibility to prevent any potential "ethnic cleansing" in the region.
Pashinyan also reiterated his support for peace negotiations with Baku, facilitated by Russia, the United States, and the European Union.
The Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict has been largely centered around the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is an internationally recognized part of Azerbaijan populated mostly by ethnic Armenians that has been a source of conflict between the two Caucasus neighbors dating back to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Despite occasional talks on a peace settlement to resolve disputes and normalize relations, tensions remain high and border clashes are common. In two days of fighting in September of last year, around 300 soldiers were killed on both sides.
However, both parties delved into mediated talks of a potential peace treaty in 2022. Armenia's premier announced in May that his country was ready to recognize Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, which includes the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Meanwhile, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev confirmed that a peace agreement can be finalized in the near future if Armenia maintains its position.
On Monday, the Azeri government agreed to reopen the Lanchin corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, on condition that leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh accept aid from Azerbaijan and not only from Armenia.
The Lanchin Corridor stands as the sole roadway linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, without which Armenia loses its only access to the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh.
Baku's announcement comes after authorities in the Armenian-controlled Artsakh announced earlier that day that it would accept humanitarian shipments from the Russian Red Cross via an alternative route.