News from Karabagh

 

 ‘Pashinyan’s victory in upcoming early elections to be good opportunity to take steps for NK conflict settlement’, says Bolton
/Oct 25/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – According to US National Security Advisor John Bolton, incumbent acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s victory in the upcoming early elections of parliament in Armenia will be a good opportunity to take steps for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

“If such willingness happens, we must work in order for the reaction from the Azerbaijani side to be in a similar way,” he said.

According to Bolton, Armenia very much supports the settlement work process of the Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.

According to Bolton, he asked Pashinyan at a meeting what the Armenian PM’s secret to success is, but, according to the US National Security Advisor, the acting prime minister of Armenia refused to disclose the secret.

“Perhaps he will nevertheless tell us after the elections,” Bolton jokingly told reporters.


U.S. statements on Karabakh conflict aimed against Russia and Iran, Armenian expert says
/Oct 29/ARKA/

YEREVAN – The latest statements about the need for a quick resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, made by US officials are aimed at weakening Russia’s position and probing the ground for anti-Iranian actions in the South Caucasus, Vardan Voskanyan, the head of the Iranian Studies Department at Yerevan State University, told a news conference today.
During a visit to Armenia last week U.S. national security adviser John Bolton argued that in order to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the parties must free themselves from historical prejudices. Earlier, US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills said that in order to quickly resolve the conflict, the Armenian side should make concessions.
According to Voskanyan, the U.S. views the South Caucasus as a springboard for further actions with respect to Iran, and second, as a region where Russia’s position needs to be weakened. ‘Unlike Georgia where the United States was successful, in case of Armenia and Azerbaijan the situation is different,” said Voskanyan.
According to him, unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan can easily join any anti-Iran campaign, however, the country’s leadership will not go into conflict with Russia, despite the differences.
“In fact, the U.S. is trying to bring the region closer to resolving the Karabakh conflict in order to eliminate barriers for reducing Armenia’s dependence on Iran. And it is not by chance that statements about the need to resolve the Karabakh conflict are synchronized with new threats against Iran,” he said.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum. 
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. 
Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year. On April 2, 2016, Azerbaijan launched military assaults along the entire perimeter of its contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh. Four days later a cease-fire was reached.
 

Republic of Artsakh: Striving for self-sufficiency
/Oct 29/Fresh Plaza, The Netherlands/

While tilled areas keep decreasing in Armenia annually, they are on the rise in the Republic of Artsakh, the contested state in the Southern Caucasus that is formally still part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Agriculture officials there are planning to achieve self-sufficiency in fruits and vegetables and leave no unsown lands in the country.

Due to the ongoing state-supported programs aimed at encouraging farming, some 70% of arable lands are cultivated in Artsakh today.  

“The autumn sown areas have increased by 20,000 hectares this year compared to last year. If some 10 years ago almost half of our arable lands were not cultivated, now over 70% is cultivated,” Artsakh Deputy Minister of Agriculture Vilen Asatryan told Panorama.am.

The government supports and encourages farmers in several ways by providing them with free seeds and mineral fertilizers. This program has been implemented since 2016, having 1000 beneficiaries this year. Unfortunately, this year’s harvest has been greatly damaged due to hailstorms, strong winds and drought.

The grain crops were the most affected. Around 15,000 hectares of agricultural lands, including 13,000 hectares of cereal crops, have been damaged.  This year Artsakh’s cereal harvest has been good enough not to import wheat or barley. Moreover, the country has exported nearly 20,000 tons of grain to Armenia throughout 2018.

Apart from traditional fruits and vegetables, Artsakh constantly cultivates new crops and trees, including olives, flax and kiwi, which grow well especially in Hadrut, Martakert and Askeran.

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