YEREVAN—In an interview with Tert.am, an opposition lawmaker from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaksutyun (ARF-D) stressed the need for a comprehensive program to reduce the escalation tensions along the Armenian and Artsakh borders with Azerbaijan.
Agreeing with President Serzh Sarkisian’s concerns over a Russian-Azerbaijani arms sale, Armen Rustamian said he finds that Armenia’s strategic ally has to react adequately to the war threats surrounding the country. Rustamian said he thinks that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) should also concentrate its efforts on easing the escalation in the region.
“Trade relations must be subordinated to political relations and never have predominance over strategic ties or partnership. This is what the President hints, and I believe it’s something all have to speak of. Russia, which is a strategic ally, must know that Armenia is facing a war; the CSTO has to use its efforts here. The military operations are not limited only to the borders of Karabakh; they occur also along the borders of Armenia,” Rustamian said.
Considering the President’s statement about an adequate reaction to the situation, Rustamian further spoke of the adverse effects of the continuing arms sale. “It’s a curious situation as we are attacked by the weapons sold by our strategic ally. A weapon is for defense: they aren’t sold for offensive operations; it is even forbidden in international practice. But it isn’t defensive arms that Azerbaijan is arming itself with; they are for offense. And by the way, Azerbaijan supplies itself with weapons not only from Russia but also Belarus, Israel, etc. Those weapons have already been found, so the relations are against a third country, Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This is what I mean; do they arm [the sides] to later issue a call for ceasing fire against one another? That’s becoming a kind of duplicity,” Rustamian said.