Azerbaijan has slammed the visit of Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan to the Nagorno-Karabakh town of Shushi/Shusha during this year's Victory Day celebration. Pashinyan on Saturday travelled to Stepanakert accompanied by his wife Anna Hakobian, the Chairman of the Armenian Parliament, and other officials, to mark what is known in Armenia as the triple holiday, "the victory in the Great Patriotic War, the formation of the Defense Army of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the liberation of Shushi".
Pashinyan and other officials visited Stepanakert Memorial and the Tank Monument in Shushi, where they laid wreaths and flowers.
Speaking on the occasion the Armenian prime minister said,
"These days we are [also] celebrating the liberation of Shushi and the establishment of the Artsakh Defense Army. Events that were unique to our recent history. The liberation of Shushi signaled the beginning of the liberation of Artsakh. Coinciding with a brilliant victory, it in turn became a guarantee of the security and peace of our people. Today we are determined. The security of the people of the Artsakh Republic and the realization of the right to self-determination are not subject to bargaining. These are absolute values for us."
The visit and speech got a swift reaction from Baku, where the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Leyla Abdullayeva said in a statement:
"Disregarding the demands of the entire international community, in particular, the UN Security Council resolutions, to end the occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, N.Pashinyan who delivered a "victory" speech in the occupied Shusha city of Azerbaijan, hopefully, understands that this irresponsible behavior attempting to justify Armenia's groundless territorial claims against Azerbaijan brings the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the conflict to the deadlock.
Such misconduct of the Armenian leadership obviously demonstrates the false position of Armenia, which is not uncommon for an aggressor country, in the conflict settlement negotiations with the solemn goal of consolidating the dangerous status quo.
However, we reiterate that this intention of Armenia will never be realized. Azerbaijan which is unambiguously supported by international law, international justice, and the international community, will liberate its territories and restore territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. There is no other way to resolve the conflict and ensure peace and security in the region."
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan visited Nagorbno-Karabakh on 9 May 2020 (picture courtesy of the press servicve of the prime minister of Armenia)
Specialists at the University of Sheffield in the UK estimate that the blast had about one tenth of the explosive power of the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during World War Two and was "unquestionably one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history".