YEREVAN—President Serzh Sarkisian lamented Russia’s arms sales to Azerbaijan saying that it is “the most painful side of the Armenian-Russian relations.” He also rejected any notion of “unilateral concession” in the Karabakh conflict resolution process.
In an extensive interview with Armenia TV’s R-Evolution program Sarkisian said the from Armenia’s perspective, Russia’s continued sales of arms to Azerbaijan also impacted the military agreement between Armenia and Russia.
“The sale of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan is the most painful issue in Armenian-Russian relations, in the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership, and overshadows many things,” Sarkisian told Armenia TV. He added, however, that while the circumstances may not be acceptable for Armenia, they might be acceptable to the others.
“We can condemn Russia if there are serious consequences. If not, we have to consider that it’s a long-term policy of Russia aimed at stabilizing the situation in the region,” explained Sarkisian who warned that people who advocate for severing ties with Russia create extremely difficult circumstances, calling it “dangerous.”
The president explained that Armenia was moving forward with a balanced foreign policy by having close allies and also cooperating with partners.
Sarkisian also said that Armenia’s Armed Forces were periodically upgrading their capabilities and expressed satisfaction with Armenia’s arsenal.
He also took the opportunity to respond to critics who have said that Armenia’s acquisition of the powerful Iskander ballistic missiles was simply to boost the morale of the population saying that whoever is making such claims does not understand the capabilities of the missile system.
“When they know, they will understand the extent of devastating force it has,” explained SarkisianArmenian President Serzh Sargsyan said during an interview to Armenia TV.
In the realm of the Karabakh conflict peace talks, Sarkisian said that Armenia’s policy on the matter has not changed and reiterated that Armenia refuses to make unilateral concessions.
“We have never spoken about any concessions over the past twenty years. We have always spoken and keep insisting on the resolution of the issue on the basis of mutual concessions,” said Sarkisian who sounded confident that “the Armenian side will never think about easing the situation through unilateral concessions even if the resolution of the conflict drags out for another 20 years.”
“The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have no doubt as to which party is responsible for tension at the Line of contact,” said Sarkisian, who stressed that agreements reached last year in Vienna and St. Petersburg calling on the creation of investigative mechanism on the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border must be implemented.
Those mechanisms, he said, are not “only meant to reveal the party violating the ceasefire, but also investigate which officer or which soldier violated the ceasefire regime.”
Sarkisain said that Baku’s refusal to implement the provisions of the Vienna and St. Petersburg clearly indicates that they are the instigator of tensions.”