State Minister


This is not an eco-movement, but a show organized by Azerbaijan. Ruben Vardanyan's interview to France 24


State Minister of the Republic of Artsakh Ruben Vardanyan was live today on France 24 to speak about the situation created as a consequence of the Azerbaijani blockade of Artsakh. He also spoke about the reasons of the blockade.


The full interview can be found below.


France 24 - Mr Vardanyan, thank you for being with us on France 24. First of all I would like to ask you, can you give us a sense of what the situation is for the people of Artsakh currently with this blockade.


Ruben Vardanyan - First of all, I would like to welcome everyone and say big thank you for all French people who support us, and the French Government. We really feel very warm about your support. Hundred and twenty thousand people in the winter – we don’t have fuel, don’t have medical means, we don’t have food, and the road is closed, shut down and we have divided families, we have a couple of hundred kids who are left in Armenia without parents, we have kids in Artsakh whose parents are stuck in Armenia, we have a lot of non-Artsakh citizens who visited Artsakh and now they are blocked here also. And the situation is quite tough. At the same time the people who live here believe it’s a fight for their independence and this is why they stay strong and energized despite all the challenges and all the difficulties we fill unified within the Government and the nation and we feel very strong. Despite all the pressure that Azerbaijan is trying to put on us we stay and become more stronger in this blockade.



France 24 - And the people who are running these protests they are activists raising awareness, protesting against illegal mining at the hands of Armenians in the region. What do you make of this?


Ruben Vardanyan - We yesterday with the Government and the management of the company issued a joint statements and we are ready to accept any international ecological expert to come and check our mining. Because we believe it is operating in the best standards. And we also say that we want them to check not only our mining but also the entire region to be checked by international ecological specialists but not just some ecology activists which we all found this is not the real ecology activists, most of them are students or people who serve in special services in Azerbaijan. By the way if the people in France have the interest and check how many times ecology protests have happened in Azerbaijan during the last 10 years, they will be surprised to find it is zero. So, this is a show organized by the Azerbaijani Government and it is not really an ecological movement.


France 24 - I’d like to turn now to your personal story in this story. Before you became the state minister of Artsakh back in November 2022, you held Russian citizenship and you were a businessman in Russia with Russian citizenship. I want to ask you what made you choose to be involved in politics in Artsakh, and to return, to move to Stepanakert.


Ruben Vardanyan - Armenians live all around the world. We have a big diaspora in Russia, in France, in America, in many other countries and we all feel connection to Artsakh. Artsakh is a homeland for the entire Armenian nation because the founder of the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop Mashtots, started his teaching, his school in Artsakh. Which is why for us it is a symbol of Armenian heritage, Armenian culture, Armenian DNA. That’s why I’ve been doing many projects in the last 20 years. And I felt after the 44-dya war that this is the most challenging time for the people who live in Artsakh. I realized I want to be with the people who really get big pressure from Azerbaijan, and they need to feel they are not alone. And we have lots of people who also have roots to Artsakh but live in other places. So I found this is the time being responsible for your nation, for your own homeland and try to help people wo are really suffering in the current environment.


France 24 - And there’s been accusations recently that Russian with its role as a peacekeeper in this region of Lachin isn’t doing enough for some opposition parties in Armenia, for instance, that it is failing its responsibility to this region, is that the sentiment you share?


Ruben Vardanyan - You know, I’ve been following the peacekeepers’ work in many countries, it may be the French sent many times in Africa. We all know, it’s usually a very limited number of soldiers, a very limited mandate and a very limited right to use weapon. That is why I understand the people’s disappointment and at the same time we also need to realize that without bigger mandates, without bigger numbers of soldiers, without more clear rights to defend ethnical minorities, the Armenians who live in their own homeland last 35 years fighting for our own independence, there will be no future. So I don’t blames, I think this blockade showed where it needs to get bigger and stronger mandate, also from UN.


France 24 - This was the state minister of the Republic of Artsakh. Thank you for being with us on France 24.

The full interview is available at the following link:  ՝

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