Armenian Protesters Block Road Over Border Demarcation Dispute with Azerbaijan

Residents in Armenia's Tavush region protest proposed border deal with Azerbaijan, fearing loss of land and security risks. Prime Minister Pashinyan's meeting fails to address their concerns, sparking calls to end the "illegal border delimitation process."

Safak Costu
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Armenian Protesters Block Road Over Border Demarcation Dispute with Azerbaijan

Armenian Protesters Block Road Over Border Demarcation Dispute with Azerbaijan

Armenian citizens from the Tavush region have been blocking the Spitak-Vanadzor road in protest against the proposed border delimitation agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The residents of the border villages, particularly in Kirants, are concerned that under the agreement, Azerbaijan will receive 2.5 villages, while Armenia will only see a reduction in security risks.

The protesters met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan but left the meeting dissatisfied as their proposals were not taken into account. During the meeting, the residents were informed that the new border would divide their village, with most of it passing to Azerbaijan. Pashinyan tried to justify this decision, saying it was necessary for Armenia's independence and existence, and that the Russians wanted it this way.

However, the residents refused to accept this, stating they do not want to put their homeland 'up for auction.' They threatened to take drastic measures, such as placing a tank in front of their houses, to prevent Azerbaijanis from entering Kirants. Pashinyan warned the residents that they would not be able to resist and that the authorities would carry out the border work by force if necessary, but offered no guarantees of their safety or compensation for those who would lose their homes.

The border delimitation process is ongoing, with the two countries aiming to finalize the description of the border line by May 15. The residents are continuing to keep the road closed, hoping for a change in the situation.

Why this matters: The border demarcation dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Tavush region highlights the complex territorial issues and tensions that persist in the aftermath of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The outcome of this dispute could have significant implications for the security and stability of the region, as well as the lives of the affected border communities.

The Tavush for the Homeland civil movement issued a statement criticizing the meeting between Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and residents from the border village of Kirants, saying it failed to address the concerns of the residents and that the government lacks a clear strategy to ensure the security of its citizens. The movement reiterated the call for an end to the "illegal border delimitation process", arguing that the incumbent government is making "unconstitutional and unilateral territorial concessions to Azerbaijan."

Key Takeaways

  • Armenian citizens in Tavush protest proposed border deal with Azerbaijan.
  • Residents fear losing land, with 2.5 villages going to Azerbaijan.
  • PM Pashinyan justifies decision as necessary for Armenia's independence.
  • Residents refuse to accept deal, threaten drastic measures to prevent it.
  • Border delimitation process ongoing, with deadline set for May 15.