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 Friday, November 24 2023 13:40
Alexandr Avanesov

Former Defense Minister: geopolitical developments and situation in  region require extraordinary decisions to be made

Former Defense Minister: geopolitical developments and situation in  region require extraordinary decisions to be made

ArmInfo. Geopolitical developments and the situation in the South Caucasus region require  extraordinary decisions. Head of the "Armenia" opposition parliamentary faction of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, former Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia Seyran Ohanyan, stated on November 24 at a hearing in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on amendments to the current legislation of the country presented by the Hayaqve initiative.

He recalled that Hayaqve proposed amendments to the Criminal Code of  the Republic of Armenia, according to which the recognition of  Artsakh as part of any other state would be considered a criminal  offense. If the amendments to the National Assembly of the Republic  of Armenia are adopted, persons who question the fact of the Armenian  Genocide will also be subject to criminal prosecution. The  oppositionist emphasized that these initiatives are extremely  important, especially given the geopolitical situation that has  developed around Artsakh. The purpose of the hearings, as the  ex-minister emphasized, is public participation in issues related to  the security of Armenia, Artsakh and the entire Armenian people,  especially from the point of view of presenting opinions and forming  the basis for the democratic participation of citizens in  decision-making.

"In the current complex geopolitical situation, it is more than  necessary for the civil society of Armenia to be able to express its  position on this issue, since geopolitical developments, the  situation in the region, the existing security environment,  especially in the context of increasing internal and external  challenges, forces all potential, proposals and the thoughts of the  country's civil society were aimed at resolving these important  issues in order to get out of this difficult situation," Ohanyan  said.

He pointed out the obvious fact that not only Baku's criminal policy  is the "author" of the created situation, but also the inappropriate  position of the Armenian authorities, which led to the "narrowing of  the ring around the country", especially in the context of the events  of September 17, 2023, when Azerbaijan, taking advantage of the  situation, once again committed aggression against Artsakh, which led  to the outflow of the Armenian population from this region,  essentially committing genocide against the Armenian population of  Nagorno-Karabakh. "Under these conditions, it is extremely important  to hold these hearings," Ohanyan emphasized.

On October 11, representatives of the Hayaqve initiative presented a  bill to the country's parliament that criminalizes the denial of the  right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno Karabakh and  nullify the significance of the Armenian Genocide.

The coordinator of the movement, Avetik Chalabyan, believes that the  initiative has not lost its relevance after Nagorno-Karabakh came  under the control of Baku. Moreover, in his opinion, it has become  more important. "What happened in Nagorno-Karabakh is a gross  violation of international law. Nagorno- Karabakh was a subject of  international law, a party to negotiations, and the issue of status  was discussed on the basis of the Madrid principles developed by the  co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. Consequently, such a subject  cannot be destroyed as a result of ethnic cleansing," he noted He.  According to him, no leader can legitimize ethnic cleansing and  genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh. He believes that Armenian Prime  Minister Nikol Pashinyan is an accomplice to the genocide and  justifies it. "Therefore, it is important not to allow Pashinyan to  record what is happening in international documents. We will fight so  that his statements do not become an international agreement,"  Chalabyan said.

At the same time, he noted, the project cannot be used to initiate  criminal prosecution against the last Karabakh leader Samvel  Shahramanyan, since he is not a representative of the Armenian  government.  Moreover, Chalabyan emphasized that the order signed by  Shahramanyan to dissolve the Nagorno- Karabakh Republic before  January 1, 2024 is unconstitutional and has no legal force.

On August 31, the Hayaqve initiative transferred the collected 58  thousand signatures to the Central Election Commission of Armenia.  The required number of them was transferred ahead of schedule. The  collection of 50 thousand signatures makes it possible to submit  a  legislative initiative to parliament to criminalize the denial of the  right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and  lnullify the significance of the Armenian Genocide. On September 25,  the CEC verified the signatures and allowed the bill to be submitted  to parliament. There the process will take about 1-1.5 months. If  parliament does not accept the amendments, and this is the most  expected scenario, since the party in power has a political majority,  then the next stage begins - collecting 300 thousand signatures to  hold a referendum on the future of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. 

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