Karabakh is a small country, but it doesn’t serve a basis to say that it doesn’t have a right to live freely. People lived here for thousands of years and will continue living, 3rd President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, the ruling Republican Party’s candidate for Prime Minister, said in an interview to the Russian Izvestiya news agency.
He stated that although the active stage of the Nagorno Karabakh exists for already three decades, this conflict existed previously.
“25 out of 30 years have passed through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group. In 1994, by the mediation of Russia, a trilateral termless ceasefire agreement was signed. Unfortunately, since 2014 Azerbaijan almost every day violated the ceasefire regime.
In April 2016, failing in the negotiations, the Azerbaijani side, by violating all its commitments through the agreement, launched a large-scale aggression against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic by using a large number of air force, armored vehicles, large caliber artillery, missile and artillery systems, most of which has been acquired from Russia. But they failed to solve any serious issue, and on the 5th day the sides met by Russia’s mediation and agreed to restart the implementation of the provisions of the agreement signed earlier”, Sargsyan said.
He recalled that during the period following this a number of summits were held during which agreements were reached to create investigative mechanisms for ceasefire violations and expand the powers of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.
“But the Azerbaijani side, returning to Baku, refused to implement the agreements. In 2007 the Minsk Group proposed to solve the conflict based on the three principles of international law – non-use of force of threat of force, equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and territorial integrity. We think that this is a balanced approach of mutual concessions. This is not what we have dreamed of. This is not the best option for us. But understanding that the issue can be settled only based on a mutual concession, we agreed to negotiations. And it seemed in 2011 we were close to the signing in Kazan. But Baku put forward additional demands, and the signing didn’t take place”, the 3rd President of Armenia said.
Serzh Sargsyan stated that the Azerbaijani leadership has an illusion according to which the mutual concession is possible only by Armenia and Artsakh. According to its leadership, it is due to this that the status-quo remains unchanged. “But here a response mutual concession is needed. Azerbaijanis still hope for the military settlement of the conflict. As the practice showed both in early 1990s and in 2016, this is impossible. There will be great losses, casualties, but the situation will not change in any case. Nevertheless, sooner or later we should come to any settlement. The sooner the better.
And the future of Karabakh is the free life. Yes, it’s a small country, but this is not yet a reason to say that you have no right to live freely. People lived there for thousands of years and will continue living also in the future. Of course, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries – Russia, the United States and France, do a lot for the conflict settlement. Five statements were made at the presidents level, and all these speak about the fact that the conflict can be settled based only on these three principles. These principles are inseparable. And this is very important”, Serzh Sargsyan said.