Nearly nine months into a devastating blockade imposed by Azerbaijan on Artsakh, Arayik Harutyunyan has announced his decision to resign as the president of the Republic of Artsakh in a message posted on Facebook on Thursday, August 31.
Harutyunyan said the global “unstable geopolitical situation” and “Artsakh’s internal political and social environment” require flexibility and a change in approach in governance. “A change in the primary actors is needed in Artsakh, starting with me,” he said. “My background and Azerbaijan’s attitude towards it are artificially creating a number of conditions that generate significant problems with regard to our future steps and the management of a flexible policy. Besides, the defeat in the war and the subsequent difficulties that emerged in the country diminished trust in the authorities and especially the president, which represents a very serious obstacle to further appropriate governance.”
Harutyunyan said he will present his official resignation to the Artsakh National Assembly on Friday, September 1. Artsakh State Minister Gurgen Nersisyan also resigned, and Secretary of the Security Council Samvel Sergey Shahramanyan has been appointed to replace him.
Harutyunyan assumed the presidency in May 2020. He served as president of Artsakh during the 44-day war waged by Azerbaijan from September to November 2020, which resulted in Armenia’s defeat and the loss of the seven districts adjacent to Artsakh as well as a large part of Artsakh itself.