Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has sought to calm concerns in Armenia following speculation about tension on the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, and particularly in the Nakhcivan sector.
Speaking live on facebook on Monday evening (25 June) Pashinyan said that since he assumed the office of Prime Minister the number of cease fire violations has been unusually low when compared to previous times.
Pashinyan said that whilst the country must be prepared for war he could not say that the situation at the moment was extraordinary. "We have the same situation we have had for many years. In the end, the conflict is not resolved, we are in the state of half-war, which can change at any moment. We must work, and the Defence Ministry should do its work. I do not want to say that there is no reason for concern, but I do not want to say that there is", the prime minister said.
Speaking about the situation on the border with the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhcivan, Pashinyan said that no territory had changed hands and what happened was that Azerbaijan changed its military posture in territory already under its control, which the Armenian side will be able to manage, but the changes did not constitute any additional risks
The Armenian Prime Minister told his audience that Armenia will not start a war. He said Azerbaijan continued to use military rhetoric but it had to understand that the conflict could only be resolved peacefully.
Earlier in the day, the Armenian prime minister chaired a meeting of the country's National Security Council.
photo: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan chairing a meeting of the National Security Council on Monday 25 June 2018 (picture courtesy of the press service of the Armenian prime minister),
The elections for the Council of Elders will be the first test of Pashinyan's popularity with voters since the events of last spring which brought him to power amid street protests.