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Artsakh President Says Berdzor to Revert to Azerbaijani Control

Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan today announced that Armenians will have to leave the villages of Berdzor and Sous, now outside the border of the former Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Region if a new roadway is built in the Lachin Corrdior.

Harutyunyan, according to the Artsakh Press, made the announcement at a session of the Artsakh National Assembly, adding that Azerbaijan and Russia have made several proposals for a new road route but that his government rejected them.

"We have chosen, in our opinion, the best option. There are secrets that I do not want to voice here. Why did we choose that option? Based on our future security concern,” Harutyunyan is quoted as saying.

Harutyunyan said his government will struggle to maintain an Armenian presence in Aghavno despite the village’s uncertain future.

Many Armenians fled the area after the Lachin District was transferred to Azerbaijan under the 2020 Karabakh war ceasefire agreement. The Artsakh government initially called on Armenians to evacuate the area as well.

Local Artsakh authorities later reversed their eviction call, claiming the agreement had been amended and that the villages would remain under Armenian supervision.

After the November 2020 ceasefire, around 40 Armenians remained in Aghavno and one hundred have returned.

 But the status of the village remains uncertain since any new road will change the route of the Lachin Corridor, leaving Aghavno outside the five kilometer-wide corridor now monitored by Russian peacekeepers.

Photo: Former Armenian border checkpoint in Berdzor (Hakob Poghosyan)

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