Artsakh President authorizes Vitaly Balasanyan to negotiate gas supply restoration with Azerbaijan

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Artsakh President authorizes Vitaly Balasanyan to negotiate gas supply restoration with Azerbaijan

YEREVAN, MARCH 24, ARMENPRESS. With support of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, the authorities in Artsakh continue negotiations with the Azerbaijani side for the restoration of gas supply, the Artsakh authorities said on March 24.

“The government of the Republic of Artsakh seeks to resolve this highly important humanitarian issue as soon as possible and we assure that we are taking all possible measures also in the diplomatic arena, which naturally aren’t subject to publicizing,” the government’s Information Center said.

It added that the President Arayik Harutyunyan authorized Secretary of the Security Council Vitaly Balasanyan to act as the negotiator.

The authorities of Artsakh said that the main pipeline supplying gas from Armenia to Artsakh was damaged on March 7 and the supply stopped.

The Artsakh authorities had said the area where the damage occurred was in Azerbaijani-controlled territory. It was reported that the Azerbaijani military deliberately damaged the pipeline.

The Azerbaijani authorities obstructed repair works for days. Only on March 16 the authorities in Artsakhannouncedthat the Azerbaijani side itself began the repair work. However, days later, the gas supply was cut again. Authoritiessaidthey have reasons to believe that during the repairs the Azeri authorities installed a valve on the pipeline in order to shut it down whenever they want.

Meanwhile, the population of Artsakh is without gas and heating amid freezing temperatures and snowfalls. The Artsakh foreign ministry described Azerbaijan’s actions ashumanitarian terrorism.

The Armenian Foreign Ministrysaidthe current situation emphasizes the urgency of clear response of the international community towards preventing the humanitarian crisis.

On March 22 the Human Rights Defender of Armenia Kristinne Grigoryan and the Human Rights Defender of Artsakh Gegham Stepanyan issued a jointstatement, calling on international human rights organizations to pressure Azerbaijan and eliminate its gross and continuous human rights violations against the Armenians of Artsakh.

On March 23, the FM of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyansaidthey utilized all diplomatic effortsto resolve the situation.

On March 23, the European Unionexpressedits concerns.

On March 24, Freedom HouseurgedAzerbaijan to prevent humanitarian crisis and restore gas supplies to Artsakh.

Speaking on the gas supply cut-off, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyansaidat the March 24 Cabinet meeting that Azerbaijan seeks to finish ethnic cleansing in Artsakh.


Armenia, Yerevan, 0002, Martiros Saryan 22


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