Karabakh Says Azerbaijan Using Water Resources for Political Purposes

The Sarsang Reservoir (Source: RFE/RL)
The Sarsang Reservoir (Source: RFE/RL)

The Sarsang Reservoir (Source: RFE/RL)

STEPANAKERT (Tert.am)—In an interview with Tert.am, Ani Sargsyan, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), commented on U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick’s recent remarks on the Sarsang Reservoir in Artsakh.

According to Sargsyan, Warlick pointed out the need for guarantees of the reservoir to continue supplying safe water to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. According Warlick, it is important that the dam be safe and water be supplied to Azerbaijan if needed as well.

Warlick also questioned whether the issue of the reservoir was really in the interest of both sides.

As a goodwill gesture, Karabakh officials have repeatedly offered Azerbaijan mechanisms for the joint use of water resources of Artsakh, which could be a step toward building mutual confidence.

The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have supported Armenia’s proposals. On November 5, 2001, representatives visited hydraulic stations on the Tartar River on both sides of the line of contact. In 2013, Nagorno-Karabakh Prime Minister Artur Aghabekyan once again suggested the idea of joint use of water resources.

During their visit to Nagorno-Karabakh last May, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs visited the Sarsang Reservoir and issued a statement on the results of their visit, expressing hope that Armenia and Azerbaijan would reach an agreement on the joint use of water resources. However, Azerbaijan prefers using this purely humanitarian issue for political and propaganda purposes, says Sargsyan.

“I took this photo last year with the co-chairs. We need to ensure that the reservoir continues to provide safe reliable power to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Warlick wrote online in regard to the reservoir.

“It’s also important that the dam is safe and that those downstream in Azerbaijan have water when it is needed. Why can’t the sides cooperate when it is in their mutual interest? This is a win-win and we are ready to help,” Warlick said.


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  1. Mkhitar Yepremyan said:

    Here we go again. Warlick has nothing to say good or bad about Artsakh. He is bad news for Armenians and Artsakh. Do not trust him period.

  2. edward demian said:

    We have the water, and they have the oil. I suggest we trade. What is this equal sharing business? Are they sharing anything with us? I say let’s sell the water to the highest bidder. Iran needs water. We can start with a modest water pipeline and supply northern Iran and southern Armenia with water. Inch kalughov ga madadzek?

  3. StarSpangledBanner said:

    Sultan ilham aliyev is not interested in anything helping his people unless it benefits his propaganda machine. What a despotic regime hell bent on bolstering a weak cabal of egoists at the expense of poor villagers on both sides.