Serzh Sargsyan: If Karabakh conflict drags on for 20 more years, Armenia will rule out concessions

10:39 • 17.07.17



If the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict does not find a solution in the 20 years to come, Armenia will rule out the possibility of concessions, President Serzh Sargsyan said in recent interview with the TV channel Armenia.


“After the four-day April war, I do not expect any changes in Armenia's positions. As for concessions, we haven't addressed the topic in any format over the past twenty years. What we have always spoken of and still keep insisting on is the scenario proposing solutions based on mutual concessions. These are different things. I am confident that if no solution is found in the 20 years to come, Armenia will never ever have the desire to mitigate the sitiation through concessions. That would we a destructive way promising no breakthrough,” he added.


Commenting on the reasons behind Armenia's decision to leave the existing approaches unchanged, the president highlighted several key principles.  “Armenia’s desire is to exercise the Nagorno-Karabakh population’s right to self-determination as a ‘God-given right’, as a right established under the international organizations’ regulations, and a principle of international law.


“The second point is that Nagorno-Karabakh must have a border with the Republic of Armenia. That’s the second key position. And the third key position deals with ensuring reliable security guarantees for the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. These are the problems we have considered in the past 20 years,” Sargsyan said.


The president also emphasized the importance of Nagorno-Karabakh’s participation in future talks over a deal proposing newly developing principles.

 
Sargsyan further addressed the Armenian armed forces' capacities which he said are being regularly updated in the face of increasing challenges.  “We purchased considerable armament both before and after the April four-day war. It is an absolutely different problem that any military action – whether it lasts one day or five years – is a serious lesson which has to be learned to make way to the necessary conclusions. It is practically only during military operations that you see what [resources] your opponent is using and in what way; so it is really important to find the antidote,” he added.

 

The president expressed his regret over the continuing Russian-Azerbaijani weapons sale, describing it  as the most sensitive point in Armenia’s long-lasting strategic alliance with Russia. “That issue, in my opinion, casts shadow on quite a lot of things. On the other hand, there are other circumstances which, though not acceptable to us, are acceptable to them. Only if we observe serious consequences sometime in the future, will it be possible to accuse [any of the sides]. If not, we will consider it Russia’s long-term political activity aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region,” he added.

 

Meantime, the president ruled out the possibility of suspending or revising the frameworks of cooperation with Russia. He warned against any speculations over the issue, calling attention to the possible hazards.

 

“What are we supposed to revise and with whom? Are we supposed to revise and normalize [our relations] with Turkey or is everybody in NATO waiting for Armenia's entry with open arms?”

 

The president said he strongly believes that the country’s policies with close allies and partners are absolutely proportional in the current circumstances.


Asked to comment on the Collective Security Treaty Organization's (CSTO) somewhat passive stance on Azerbaijan's continuing aggression  against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, the president cited several key statements expressing the organization's strong-worded criticism against the border incidents. “The CSTO and its secretary general, Nikolay Bordyuzha, have repeatedly reacted to the incidents along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, and their reaction was really very tough. The CSTO must obviously have a passive role when it comes to commenting on the incidents along the Line of Contact because they nonetheless adhere to the position that those are the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and their Defense army – as opposed to Armenia's military,” he said.

 

The president also spoke of the short-range ballistic missile system Iskander (purchased from the Russian Federation  last year). “Anyone who believes that Iskander has just a moral or psychological value, that person does not simply understand what Iskander is in essence. They may understand it only after they know what destructive potential that weapon has,” he said, refraining from further  comments.

 

Armenian News - Tert.am





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