YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—“Mutual concessions are acceptable to us, but unilateral concessions in return for uncertainty are not,” Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said Friday at a meeting with the faculty and staff of the Armenian State University of Economics.
“By inciting border provocations, Azerbaijan tried to influence the negotiation process on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict,” the Defense Minister said. “It was a test for our armed forces, which they successfully passed,” he said.
Minister Ohanyan said, “The Armenian side stands for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.”
“The people of Artsakh have realized their right to self-determination on their historic lands, and there is no alternative to this,” he noted.
“With belligerent rhetoric and ceasefire violations Azerbaijan is trying to demonstrate its power and thus affect the negotiation process. This was the purpose behind the escalation of tension in July to August of the current year,” Minister Ohanian said, adding that “the intension failed because of the bravery and devotion of the Armenian soldiers.”
As for the possible support of the CSTO forces in case of necessity, the Minister first reminded that “Armenia is an active member of the CSTO. It has come forth with a number of initiatives, has actively participated in the development of peacekeeping and air-defense forces.” He added that “according to the CSTO statute, in the case that member states apply for assistance, the others have to provide it. This regulation is in force.”
Speaking about Armenia’s cooperation with NATO, Minister Ohanian said, “It helps raise the level of defense reforms.” “Our cooperation develops in the field of education, military medicine, peacekeeping, humanitarian de-mining, and a number of other directions,” he said, adding that “both organizations show understanding towards us and our problems.”