ArmInfo. International agencies called for "lowering the bar" for Artsakh's status back in 2016, Armenia's Premier Nikol Pashinyan stated at an online new conference.
According to him, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs made similar proposals.
"I have repeatedly presented the co-chairing countries' proposals. The proposals for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict the co-chairs made in 2016 is nothing but a call to lower the bar," the premier said.
Mr Pashinyan recalled his speech in Armenia's Parliament, when he stated that in all the packages since 1998 the Armenian side has recognized Nagorno-Karabakh part of Azerbaijan.
"When Nagorno-Karabakh was excluded from negotiations in 1998 was it anything else but lowering the bar? When in 1999 Armenia signed the Charter for European Security at the Istanbul Summit, which did not directly deal with security principles, was it not lowering the bar?" Mr Pashinyan said, recalling the Lisbon Summit in 1996.
"True, Armenia vetoed. But why did it veto? It vetoed the wording that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be settled within Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. After Armenia vetoes, the chairman made a statement conveying the international community's position. Was it anything else but lowering the bar?" Mr Pashinyan said. All the documents are available online, he added.
Armenia's premier also recalled the resolutions by the U.S. Security Council.
"What was their content? Does our society know about it? There was an unwritten law not to mention the resolutions that were not in our favor," the premier said. The international community could not forget that, he added.
Speaking of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, Mr Pashinyan called "strange" Russian FM Sergey Lavrov's statements on termination of the OSCE Minsk Group's activities.
"On one occasion I could comment on the Azerbaijani president's statement on the past. But I should say that the Russian foreign minister's statement - if accurately quoted by mass media - sounds, to put it mildly, strange. Why so? It is so because the Russian foreign minister is an official subordinate to the Russian president. Why I am saying it? For the simple reason that on April 19, 2022, I paid an official visit to Russia, and the Russian president and I signed a joint statement. What did we write in Point 24? We must cooperate in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and must use the potential of the OSCE Minsk Group under the international mandate," Mr Pashinyan said. He added that it is Russia's official position committed to paper. I think this discrepancy should be clarified, though there is nothing to clarify because a joint statement was adopted," Armenia's premier said.
He stressed that thee the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs re-affirmed their commitment to the Nagorno- Karabakh peace process.
"Russia stated that in the joint statement. France and the United States have stated several times. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have never stated their nonexistence," Mr Pashinyan said.