Artsakh is a Country, Not a Conflict, says Armenia’s Defense Minister

Armenia's Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan speaks during the "Nation-Army 2017" forum on April 20, 2017 in Yerevan (Photo: Press Office of the President of Armenia)
Armenia's Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan speaks during the "Nation-Army 2017" forum on April 20, 2017 in Yerevan (Photo: Press Office of the President of Armenia)

Armenia’s Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan speaks during the “Nation-Army 2017″ forum on April 20, 2017 in Yerevan (Photo: Press Office of the President of Armenia)

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—There is no military solution to the conflicts that exist in our region and the world, at large, Armenia’s Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan said in an interview with Russian Interfax agency.

“We proceed from the fact that there is simply no military solution to the Karabakh conflict. We do hope that this is very well understood in Azerbaijan. We do hope that decision-makers in Baku realize that it’s very easy to open the doors to chaos, large-scale military actions and escalation in the whole region, which will be very difficult to stop. This will definitely strengthen the role of terrorist groups in the region and will boost the role of non-regional players, which will try to make use of the situation,” said Sargsyan.

“Nagorno-Karabakh is a country, not a conflict,” the Defense Minister stated, stressing that “there will be no settlement unless there is full understanding of this fact.”

“Real people have been living there for over a quarter a century under the conditions of de facto independence. They are responsible for making decisions, forming their government based on democratic principles through free elections,” Sargsyan stated.

Speaking about the measures taken after the April escalation last year, Sargsyan said “Retooling of the Army is a constant process. We analyze the results and change priorities after any event, even planned military exercises, it’s a natural process.”

“Of course, such analysis is always of a deeper nature after military actions and is based on the assessment of effectiveness of the equipment used by the rival,” he added. “We’ve implemented a number of changes in the control system at the line of contact, in the types of weaponry needed to keep the balance and prevent the possibility of such escalation in the future.”

The Armenian Defense Minister stressed that “any violation of the ceasefire regime is a violation of international commitments of the parties – in this case Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, the signatories of these agreements, and Armenia. Any divergence from the agreements is fraud with threats of escalation.”

“We stand for introduction of mechanisms of monitoring and control over the line of contact. Such agreements were reached at meetings held in Vienna and St. Petersburg under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Russian President respectively,” he noted.

“Unfortunately, yet again Azerbaijan is refusing from commitments, which leaves a negative imprint on the whole process of search for ways of settlement. Every party is making its own choice. But we consider that the situation that exists today (with regular violations of the ceasefire regime) does not provide for perspectives of conflict settlement,” Sargsyan concluded.

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