In Nagorno-Karabakh, a new head of government was appointed to replace Vardanyan
Businessman Ruben Vardanyan has been relieved of his post as state minister of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). This was announced on Thursday, February 23, by NKR President Arayik Harutyunyan. His place will be taken by the former prosecutor general of the unrecognized republic. The powers of the state minister will also be reduced, he will no longer deal with foreign affairs.
Harutyunyan thanked Vardanyan for his work. “All this time, Ruben Vardanyan and I have been together, daily monitoring the events taking place both in Artsakh and in the outside world, constantly exchanging ideas about solutions to the current situation,” the NKR President noted. Gurgen Nersisyan, the Prosecutor General of the unrecognized republic, has been proposed to head the government instead of Vardanyan.
After his resignation, the businessman announced his intention to stay in Nagorno-Karabakh. “I know that there is pressure in connection with my stay in Artsakh (the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh is RFI), but I note that I am not going anywhere. I will work here,” Vardanyan said. He served as head of government for less than four months.
According to media reports, Vardanyan’s departure from the government was one of Baku’s conditions for starting peace talks. Similar demands have been made by the Azerbaijani authorities since the fall of last year, when the blockade of the unrecognized republic by the so-called “environmental activists” began. It was also reported about the disagreements between Vardanyan and the Armenian authorities regarding the role of Russian peacekeepers in the region.
Russian billionaire, former owner of the investment company Troika Dialog, founder of the Skolkovo business school, Ruben Vardanyan announced in early September 2022 that he had renounced Russian citizenship and returned to his homeland in Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 4, it became known that he agreed to head the government of the unrecognized republic.