Despite Kosovo Outcome, Karabakh will Push for Recognition, Oskanian Says

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–During an interview with the Russian Interfax news agency published on Monday, Armenia’s foreign minister Vartan Oskanian said that international recognition of Karabakh’s independence will be pursued, despite the outcome of the Kosovo resolution.
“We suppose that each conflict is unique and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is not an exception. Peculiarities of each conflict should be taken into account,” explained Oskanian, adding that Karabakh is moving toward self-determination irrespective of decisions that may be taken on other conflicts.
“Let us not forget that unlike Kosovo, where the international forces and NATO put an end to the war and where the UN and EU have been founding state structures for seven years, Nagorno Karabakh has been overcoming the consequences of the aggression imposed on it and achieving success in state building for 20 years already.
“We are ready to continue talks for the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict on the basis of the existing principles. Contrary to Azerbaijan’s hesitance and its retreat from the agreemen’s achieved, we can ensure the possibility of serious progress if political will is demonstrated,” said Oskanian.
“As to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s presidential elections, we can firmly say that they have secured the priority of democracy and law for the people of Karabakh. All this will certainly have a positive influence on the negotiation process. Ignoring these elections would be unwise,” added Oskanian.
Oskanian also said that trade and economic cooperation with Russia was one of the priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy.
“Let us not forget that the Russian market is the most available for us. Besides bilateral relations in energy, transport, metallurgy, chemistry and trade, we have developed relations in the banking system, precious stones working, information technologies and tourism as well as minor and middle business,” he said.
The Armenian Minister noted that some 700 organizations based in Moscow had been registered in Armenia.
Oskanian also discussed a recent proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to utilize the Gabala radar base in Azerbaijan as an alternative to housing anti-missile shield. The Armenian foreign minister said that the proposal had larger political ramifications.
“The matter concerns exploitation of the base but not installation of rockets. Consequently, the issue cannot have any serious influence on the balance of forces in the region,” he said.
“I suppose Azerbaijan has much to think about, since it may fall victim to this policy independently of its own will,” added Oskanian.

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