President of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) Arayik Harutyunyan dismissed Ruben Vardanyan, who renounced Russian citizenship last year and moved to NKR. This was reported by the press service of Harutyunyan.
“I am grateful to Mr. Vardanyan for always trying to share the responsibility with me both in friendly and collegiate relations, and not trying to shift it onto me, referring to the constitutional norms. But, on the other hand, he was aware and understood the scale and degree of my personal responsibility for the situation in Artsakh and further problems,” the message says. Vardanyan became state minister in November.
Harutyunyan offered the vacant post of State Minister to NKR Prosecutor General Gurgen Nersisyan. Radio Azatutyun reported that the president of the republic would dismiss Vardanyan and appoint Nersisyan in his place. The adviser to the state minister then stated that Vardanyan was not going to either resign or leave Artsakh.
Last week, during a meeting in Munich between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the latter stated that he was ready to negotiate with the NKR only on the condition that Vardanyan leaves the territory of the republic.
The NKR has been under blockade since mid-December: the only road linking the republic with Armenia, the Lachin corridor, was blocked by people brought by the Azerbaijani authorities who call themselves "eco-activists". A shortage of essential goods began in the republic, food cards were introduced. The NKR authorities report regular cuts of gas and electricity.