10 Jan 2023 16:14

Pashinyan does not rule out asking UNSC to send peacekeeping mission to Karabakh when mandate of Russian peacekeepers expires

YEREVAN. Jan 10 (Interfax) - Armenia does not rule out a request to the UN Security Council for sending an international peacekeeping mission to Nagorno-Karabakh when the five-year mandate of the Russian peacekeeping contingent expires, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said.

"We have said that if Russia becomes unable to provide security of the Nagorno-Karabakh population, the UN Security Council may be asked to deploy an additional international peacekeeping mission," Pashinyan said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Armenia can't ask for that at present because "that would mean we are applying to the UN Security Council against Russia," he said.

"One thing is clear: after 2025, when the term of operation of the Russian peacekeepers expires, we should make decisions based on the situation. Perhaps, it wouldn't be necessary to apply to the UN Security Council or, maybe, it would," Pashinyan said.

As to whether an international peacekeeping mission may be sent to Nagorno-Karabakh by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Pashinyan said, CSTO members "are not neutral in the issue of Karabakh de jure because they are allies of Armenia and they are not neutral de facto because they have more profound economic and political relations with Azerbaijan than with Armenia."

"This hypothetical idea will not improve the situation, it may even worsen it," he said.

Pashinyan also noted a potential for security cooperation with the West.

"Nowadays, Armenia is a full-fledged member of an international democratic family. We launched strategic dialogue with the United States in 2019. There is also fluid dynamics in relations with the EU. We are stepping up relations on the bilateral level," Pashinyan said.

Armenia "sends and receives certain messages, which indicate that we see a potential for security cooperation," he said.