YEREVAN, November 16. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said during an online press conference on Monday he bore main responsibility for the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"Of course, I understand that I am the main person responsible for this situation," Pashinyan said.
As a result of military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh, control of several districts in the unrecognized republic will pass over to Azerbaijan.
The Armenian armed forces suffered a defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh because they fought not only with the army of Azerbaijan but also with the Turkish forces and mercenary terrorists from the Middle East, Pashinyan stressed.
"Following the results of the July battles [in northeastern Armenia], it became clear that we were ready for the war with the army of Azerbaijan. However, the war with Azerbaijan, Turkey and terrorists was the main cause of our failure," he noted.
The Armenian authorities stated on many occasions that Turkey was involved in the military conflict in Karabakh. Yerevan reported that Turkish servicemen were fighting for the Azerbaijani army while Ankara had assumed command of aerial battles and was redeploying terrorists from the Middle East, in particular, from Syria and Libya, to Karabakh.
Several hundred Armenian soldiers and officers are missing as a result of combat operations in Nagorno-Karabakh, Pashinyan said.
"We have several hundred soldiers missing since the beginning of the war," the Armenian premier said.
The army of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will keep its status after the signing of the trilateral ceasefire agreement, Pashinyan said.
"The defense army of Artsakh [the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] remains the Artsakh defense army. It will keep its status and must develop. The army is a guarantor of the sovereignty of Artsakh," the Armenian prime minister stressed.
On November 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a full ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, starting from November 10. Under the peace deal, the Azerbaijani and Armenian forces will remain at their current positions while Russian peacekeepers will be deployed to the region.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry and General Staff announced on November 10 that the republic’s armed forces would honor the accords and urged the people to refrain from actions destabilizing the situation in the country.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict reported numerous casualties, among them civilians.
The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.