Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called Saturday for strengthening military cooperation with Russia, after his country’s crushing military defeat in the conflict over the Nagorno Karabakh region in front of Azerbaijan.
“We hope that we will be able to strengthen cooperation with Russia not only in the security field, but also in the military and technical fields,” Pashinyan said during a meeting in Yerevan with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu , according to what his media office quoted him as saying.
“Of course there were difficult moments in the war, but the situation today is much more difficult,” he added.
On November 9, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on a ceasefire in Nagorno Karabakh after six weeks of violent battles in this unilaterally declared republic, which consecrates field victories for Azerbaijan.
According to the agreement, the latter will regain areas that have been out of its control for three decades.
This agreement, which provides for the deployment of about 2,000 Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno Karabakh, consecrates the defeat of Armenia, but allows for the preservation of the separatist mountainous region over which Baku and Yerevan have been disputed for decades.
“For us, the main thing is to prevent bloodshed,” said Shoygu , who traveled to the Armenian capital Saturday accompanied by a large Russian delegation, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
This visit comes a day after Azerbaijan regained control of the Agdam region, which was ceded by the Armenian separatists of Nagorno Karabakh, according to the peace agreement.
This region is part of the security shield that the separatists have formed around the region.
Agdam is the first of the three areas to be handed over to Azerbaijan after the Armenian forces seized control of it thirty years ago at the end of the war that took place in the nineties of the last century, which left 30 thousand people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, especially from the Azerbaijani population of Aghdam.
In Armenia, the agreement to end hostilities continues to anger a portion of the opposition, which accuses Nikole Pashinyan of being a “traitor” and demands his resignation.
The latter refuses to leave his post, but on Friday he changed two ministers, including the Minister of Defense, a few days after the dismissal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.