YEREVAN (Armradio.am) — The sale of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan is the most painful issue in Armenian-Russian friendship, in the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership, and shadows many things, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian said in an interview with R-Evolution program of Armenia TV. He added, however, that nothing serious has happened yet.
“We can condemn Russia if there are serious consequences. If not, we have to consider that it’s a long-term policy of Russia aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region,” President Sarkisian said.
The President said the calls to review relations with Russia can bring about extremely dangerous consequences. “If we review relations with Russia, who can we improve relations with? Turkey? Or is everyone in NATO looking forward to Armenia’s arrival with open embrace?” the President said.
He added that “we cannot accuse all of supporting Azerbaijan, turn away from everyone and go against the world. Our policy is as follows – we develop relations with close allies and cooperate with partners,” the President stated.
Speaking about difficulties in Karabakh conflict resolution, Sarkisian stated that “the Minsk Group is not almighty in a certain sense. Any of the co-chairing countries is able to impose anything on Azerbaijan if it stems from its own interests. But it’s hard to imagine Russia, France and the United States imposing their opinion on Azerbaijan.”
“The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have no doubt as to which party is responsible for tension at the Line of contact,” he added.
According to the President, “compulsion is not always the best option, that’s why the Co-Chairs opt for persuasion rather than harsh compulsion.”
President Sarkisian reiterated Armenia’s demand to create an investigation mechanism at the line of contact – a measure that had been agreed at Vienna and St. Petersburg summits.
“It’s not only meant to reveal the party violating the ceasefire, but also investigate which officer or which soldier violated the ceasefire regime,” the President said.
Serzh Sarkisian added that the mechanism has not been implemented for the simple reason that Baku stands against it. “The refusal clearly indicates that they are the author of tension.”
The President said “there has been no change in Armenia’s principled stance after the four-day war in April 2016.” He voiced confidence that there has not been any change in Azerbaijan’s position, either.”
“The April war simply showed that Azerbaijan refuses solving the conflict on the basis of Madrid Principles,” he said.
As for concessions, the President said “we have never spoken about any concessions over the past twenty years. We have always spoken and keep insisting on the resolution of the issue on the basis of mutual concessions.”
President Sarkisian is confident that “the Armenian side will never think about easing the situation through unilateral concessions even if the settlement of the conflict drags out for another 20 years.”
He said the targets of the Armenian side are obvious – realization of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic people’s right to self-determination, land border between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, reliable security guarantees for the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.