In an interview with the Russian Izvestia, Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II expressed concern over the looming threats to the Armenian churches and historical monuments currently under Azerbaijani control.
Azerbaijan bans UNESCO experts' entry into Artsakh, Supreme Patriarch tells Russian paper
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 14, ARTSAKHPRESS: The Supreme Patriarch said he knows that the Baku authorities have banned UNESCO experts' entry into Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) for conducting evaluations, Tert.am reports.
Meantime he appreciated the Russian peacekeeping forces' role in ensuring the preservation of the historical and cultural sites.
The Patriarch added that the Armenian Apostolic Church has created a special department tasked with the mission to oversee the preservation of monuments of international significance.
"Azerbaijan has not approved the proposal for allowing the UNESO observers' entry into Baku-controlled areas," he said.
Garegin II expressed hope that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship (of which Russia is a member) will take immediate action to guarantee the protection of the monuments.
The Russian newspaper also referred to the repeated attacks on cultural monuments in the period of the 44-day fighting in autumn. In particular, it called attention to the devastating shelling of the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral (Holy Savior's Cathedral) in Shushi, which left two Russian journalists severely wounded.