Bashkend

Bashkend

For the first time, the Armenian leadership began talking about the return of the territory of the village of Bashkend (Artsvashen) to this country, which was taken under control by the Azerbaijani army and militias in 1992.

We cannot abandon the exclave, enclave theme, the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan  said in an interview with journalists. According to him, "Artsvashen is part of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, and they agreed that they would deal with this issue."

Judging by Pashinyan's statement, Baku did not give consent to the transfer of the village to Armenia. "You know that the Republic of Armenia cannot abandon this issue, since Artsvashen is part of the sovereign territory of our country. We are going to de jure justify the existence of an exclave. Artsvashen is in the process of demarcation, and the government of the Republic of Armenia has such justifications, after which the demarcation process around Artsvashen will be carried out, we will see what decisions will be made," Pashinyan said.

He revealed an important circumstance stipulated in the negotiations with Baku. According to the Prime Minister, before Baku confirms the return of the disputed village, the demarcation of four villages (Kazakh region - Ed.) is carried out as a preliminary action.

The village of Bashkend (Artsvashen), which was an enclave of the Armenian SSR in the territory of the Azerbaijani SSR in Soviet times, now belongs to the Kedabek region of Azerbaijan. According to the administrative-territorial division of Armenia, which disputes the ownership of the village, Bashkend belongs to the Gegharkunik region of Armenia. Bashkend is the largest village (40 km km) of the enclave (exclave) territories.

Mass protests of Armenians who do not want the transfer of four villages to Azerbaijan continue in the region.  The protesters blocked the roads with cars, along which Azerbaijani equipment and border guards should enter these villages.  On April 20, Armenian protesters made a picket on the road leading to the village of Voskepar,  organized a picket and closed the road in the village of Kirants in the Tavush region of Armenia. Residents claim that as a result of the establishment of the border between the two countries, some Armenian houses will be destroyed, a school and a church will be near the positions of the Azerbaijani army.  Yerevan promised the owners of these houses monetary compensation for the construction of housing elsewhere.  New roads will be built bypassing the Azerbaijani territory. On April 20, the Armenian police forces tried to unblock the road closed by picketers.

Earlier, the commissions of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the delimitation of the state border issued a joint press release following the meeting, which states that the delimitation of borders at the sites of the Armenian village of Baganis, Azerbaijani Baganis Ayrim, Armenian Voskepar, Azerbaijani Ashagy Askipar, Armenian Kirants, Azerbaijani Heyrimli, Armenian Berkaber, Azerbaijani Gyzylhajily was previously agreed upon. In fact, this means the transfer of four villages under the control of Azerbaijan, which were part of the Azerbaijani SSR, and since the 1990s were under the control of Armenia.

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