Artsakh Has Been Armenian for Thousands of Years, Pashinyan Tells BBC

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan being interviewed by Stephen Sackur on BBC's HARDTalk

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was interviewed on the popular BBC program HARDTalk, whose host Stephen Sackur asked a wide array of questions ranging from Armenia’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis to the current situation on the Armenia and Azerbaijan border.

In discussing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, Sackur challenged Pashinyan saying that the prime minister’s statement last year the “Artsakh is Armenia. Period,” was provocative and nationalistic.

“For thousands of years Artsakh has been populated by indigenous Armenian people,” Pashinyan told the BBC host, explaining the Armenia’s position was not nationalistic because the “Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh are under existential threat.”

“The reality is that at the time the conflict started, 80 to 90 percent of the population was Armenian, and Azerbaijan tried to cleanse the land of Armenians. And the conflict started from this moment,” added Pashinyan.

“Azerbaijan started a military attack against Armenia. It wasn’t a separate action. For a long time the Azerbaijani president has developed a bellicose rhetoric, saying that he is going to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict using military force. As a result of that bellicose rhetoric the Azerbaijani government is facing the challenge to explain to their own society why they couldn’t solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through force,” Pashinyan said, recapping the events of the last month.

He, once again, proposed the establishment of international mechanism to monitor ceasefire violations on Azerbaijan’s border with both Armenia and Artsakh, explaining that such measures will alleviate “confusion” for the international community who continue to blame both sides any time tensions escalate on the border.

“I can understand the situation of the international community that every time hears mutual accusations about who violated the ceasefire. And this continues again and again for a long time. That’s why we are proposing to establish an international mechanism for investigating ceasefire violations. And this is a valid proposal by Armenia,” said Pashinyan.

The prime minister also criticized President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, saying that his increasing and continued “bellicose” rhetoric and threats to resolve the conflict through military force undermine the settlement process.

“Peace can’t be achieved through unilateral actions of Armenia,” Pashinyan told Sackur. “What we are proposing to Azerbaijan is to renounce any possibility of use of force. We should agree on a very simple formula: there is no military solution to the Nagrono Karabakh conflict.”

He also said that Aliyev was unwilling to accept a “new formula for peace,” which he laid out for the conflict resolution.

“The formula is the following: any solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be acceptable for the people of Armenia, for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and for the people of Azerbaijan. I am the first Armenian leader to have ever said that any solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be acceptable for the Azerbaijani people, too. But, unfortunately, the Azerbaijani president didn’t reciprocate my proposal,” he said.


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  1. A. Grigorian said:

    I think interviewer was bribed by azarbayjanis,because he was repeating what ever was saying Mr. Aliyev. He did not know anything about the history of region. Prime minister Pashinyan must not permit himself to give opportunity to guise like this one.

  2. Armen said:

    Bravo Mr. PM Pashinian – this interview sounds like being conducted by an Azeri agent. What a disgrace of a lack of objectivity by a reporter.

  3. Monte said:

    Pahiniyan should not have any more interviews in English language anymore. This is the second debate I’m watching of his, and he does not know how to express himself for shi*!

  4. Nigar said:

    Azerbaijan never had any problem with any neighbouring country! Azerbaijan did not clean or tried to clean Armenians or any other nationality living in Azerbaijan! It is an ugliest lie PM can ever say! Shame!!!!! Actually , opposite has happened! Armenians cleared Azerbaijani territories from native Azerbaijanis and falsely “made ” it Artsakh.

    • joe said:

      Armenian Programs in Baku, Sumgaite? BTW all Azeri’s are welcome in Artsakh. Just have to be citizens of Artsakh. Azerbaijan started a war and LOST..Ancient Armenian lands were liberated. “Native Azerbaijani”? Please. Referring to Turks from the Asian foothills? Invaders? Mongols? Don’t belong there. Also why is Azerbaijan free from Soviet rule but yet Karabakh, given to a made up, newly created “Azerbaijan” gas station Turkish nation in 1918 by JOSEPH STALIN, is somehow permanent?

  5. Barséghian Ardachèce said:

    I want to recall with conviction the diplomatic march to be adopted in these negotiations, according to our expert in international politics and law, Mr Harut Sassounian, or we must put a temporary end to negotiations under the Minsk Group, as long as one of the two parties assaults the citizens on a daily basis, the borders of his opponent, yes Mr Sassounian “cannot agree to negotiate for so long with the adversary who arrives at the negotiating table with the guns Hand” Surprisingly the patience of our head of government is courageous and limitless but ineffective.

  6. ara said:

    Armenia owes no amends or apologies to the turkey azeris for anything- the mongrols butchered and raped our people for centuries and time has shown their ugly faces- they occupy our lands east and west and say they are victims- they live by their swords and will hand over our lands and pay us ten times what they stole- they have nice people there that are educated with false history and bs- to the hell with them and we will move them to the dregs of hell- azeris get out

  7. Robert Deranian said:

    Wow… talk about a tough interview. Despite the tough questions though what seems quite clear is that Armenia has made great strides in democracy and for that all Armenians can be grateful.

  8. joe said:

    Pashinyan should be asking why England purposely puts forth effort to deny the Armenian Genocide?

    GOOGLE: “Is Armenia Safe to Travel” and you get a British response??? Unbelievable. Why from them?

    Understand the historical role that the British played regarding Armenia.. England is a bastion of Zionism and specifically their world banking headquarters, and have been for many centuries. These same Zionist bankers are intricately tied to the highest tiers if English governance and decision making.. (As is currently in the USA, who also doesn’t officially recognize the AG ). Zionism is the sworn enemy of Armenians as we are considered the Amelakites..’Amalek is a nation described in the Hebrew Bible as an enemy of the Israelite’s’…google “original Zionist sin” referring to European Zionist newspapers purposefully covering up the Hamidian Massacres in the late 1800’s. they are directly complicate from the beginning. Therefore we are a marked race by the Zionist..

    When oil was found in Baku in 1905 it sealed the fate of the Armenians. These same Zionist bankers invested heavily in this newly found black gold as they still do today. And after propping up the CUP, which BTW was called ‘A Jewish movement” by Sir Gerard Lowther, British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire who witnessed the entire events and wrote about them, (YOU CAN GOOGLE IT)in order to more easily and freely transport this newly found oil, without strife, without Armenians ever getting back their territories (think Wilsonian Armenia) and their rightful place in this world, because the Ottoman Empire was crumbling with all its hegemony, Therefore Armenians had to be liquidated. It was their final Armenian solution…ironically Turkey and Azerbaijan today accuse Armenia of being an energy security threat. Once at the Turkish helm, the CUP indoctrinated average Turks and Kurds to help liquidate the original Armenian population under the cover of WW1 as an enemy to the Turkish State, which Turkey considers till this day. The events of 1915 are considered A “Turkish national security threat.”

    After the genocide and the eventual fall of the Ottoman Empire the British created war tribunals but eventually took all the main murdering actors from turkey to the Island of Malta and just released them under the guise of no jurisdiction and supposed release of British hostages in exchange. Though no hard evidence, many say the Armenian nation’s real wealth is in Zionist English banks, as they stole it and then released the murdering actors to help deny their involvement in the Armenian Genocide TILL THIS DAY WORKING HARD AGAINST ARMENIA..Know your enemies.

    • ara said:

      it is true for sure- money has its root there in evil and disgust- we will take it back

  9. Vartan Avanessian said:

    Mr. Stephen Sackur clearly is biased with Azerbiajani agenda. His main purpose was to make Armenia say “sorry”. sorry for what? being killed by barbarians? Disgusting how he attacks Mr. Pashinyan.
    Bravo to you, Mr. Pashinyan to not cave in to his pressure. Armenia does not have many friends.

  10. Norin said:

    What a BS interview, this clearly was a set up by BBC to paint Armenia in a bad light. Why even do such an interview ?

  11. Kevork said:

    In this interview, Stephen Sackur seems to be determined to make Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan look bad. Most questions are followed by interruptions. “… are you prepared to apologise for Armenian forces actions!?” are you serious?? Have you studied what was the chain of events before asking that question??
    Armenia should have sit on their hands while Azerbaijan committed a genocide??

  12. ara said:

    Clearly the reporter had an agenda- not to be open and objective but wanted answers to his questions-on the azeri curve- the butt curve i would say- he must be one of them-or married to one- clearly not an educated historian or scholar- Pashinyan took no punch- English or German- not sure why some comments mention not to do it- DO IT SIR- tell them where to go as u did-well done -Armenia lives and we will take back what the trash stole by deception, rape, torture and killings of innocent people- their culture-the turk-is fake-filled with a religion of hatred and brutality- we take NO PUNCHEs