CSO Statement on Trilateral Negotiations
During the Government session of May 20, 2021, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that trilateral negotiations are ongoing between Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. He went on to say that several preliminary points of agreement have been reached, and that they “100% correspond to Armenia’s interests.”
Since the 2020 Artsakh War, and especially after November 9, Nikol Pashinyan and his My Step parliamentary faction have eroded the public confidence that was reflected in the results of the 2018 parliamentary election. The fact that early parliamentary elections have been called amidst political turmoil a mere 2.5 years into the term is evidence of that.
In the post-war period, details about the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the resolution of security issues have not been provided by the Armenian Government or other state bodies to the public. This situation breeds fertile ground for disinformation and the dissemination of fake news, leaving the public even more vulnerable and justifiably deepening a lack of confidence in state institutions and the ruling political party.
Under these circumstances, Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan does not have the legitimacy to conduct negotiations with foreign entities without political consultations, a mere month before the early election. Under a caretaker government, while the National Assembly is formally dissolved, Pashinyan cannot make momentous decisions on behalf of the Republic of Armenia and unilaterally declare them to be in accord with Armenia’s interests, referring to them as an “announcement” and failing to follow the necessary legal processes for international agreements.
In light of these events, we find it necessary to remind Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan that, under Article 205 of the Armenian Constitution, alterations to the territory of the Republic of Armenia must be decided through a referendum. If territorial concessions or any other commitments are being extracted through coercion, we also point out that Articles 51 and 52 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which has been ratified by the Republic of Armenia, renders null and void any agreements obtained through coercion or threats against a state representative.
Therefore, we the undersigned demand that Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan immediately:
Make public the full contents of the draft document under negotiation.
What results have come out of raising the issue of Azerbaijan’s armed incursions into Armenia at the CSTO, and what steps are being taken by the latter.
What steps have been taken in general after the end of the 2020 Artsakh War, including taking the issue of freeing prisoners of war to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council.
What steps have been taken to date on diversifying political and strategic partners, and what responses were given to offers of political and strategic assistance by several countries to support Armenia’s interests.
What steps are being taken to first of all guarantee the security and rights of the residents of Armenia’s border regions, as well as the security of the Republic of Armenia and its citizens.
The secrecy surrounding foreign policy processes has often created challenges for the Republic of Armenia and its statehood. This vicious practice must be put to an end; henceforth, any Government or political party must not bypass the people and accept momentous and irreversible decisions based on narrow personal or group interests.
Regarding the delimitation and demarcation of borders, these can only be considered legal through the inclusion of United Nations and [HM1] OSCE representatives, in accordance with legal processes enshrined in international legal norms[HM2] .
Transparency International Anticorruption Center
Centre for Community Mobilization and Support NGO
Yerevan Press Club NGO
Protection of Rights Without Borders NGO
Analytical Centre on Globalisation and Regional Cooperation
Peace Dialogue NGO
Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition
Open Society Foundations - Armenia
Helsinki Association for Human Rights NGO
Human Rights Research Center NGO
For Equal Rights Educational Center NGO
Public Journalism Club
Media Initiatives Center
Women’s Resource Center NGO
Real World, Real People NGO
Human Rights House Yerevan NGO
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly - Vanadzor
"Center for Perspective Development"
"Union of Informed Citizens"
British-Armenian Human Rights Association