Vardan Oskanian: "Armenia Is Open For Cooperation With All Countries


Noyan Tapan
Aug 07 2007

YEREVAN, AUGUST 7, NOYAN TAPAN. The Press and Information Department
of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided Noyan Tapan with the
whole text of the interview of Vardan Oskanian, the RA Prime Minister,
with "Interfax", which is presented bellow:

Question – What is the position of Yerevan and Baku with regard to
the Karabakh conflict settlement? What hinders the development of the
negotiation process and is there light at the end of the tunnel? What
influence can the non-recognized NKR presidential elections by the
world community have on the conflict settlement process?

Answer – We are ready to continue negotiations on the basis of the
principles put on the table. In spite of the signs of hesitation and
withdrawal from the made agreements displayed by the Azeri side, we
are sure that a serious progress can be recorded in case of displaying
political will.

As for the presidential elections held in the Republic of Nagorno
Karabakh, we can surely say that these elections became one of the
pledges of democracy of the Artsakh population and provision of law
supremacy, which in its turn can have only a positive influence on
the further negotiation process. The disregard of these elections
is incorrect and directily contradicts modern political values and
this in case, when the existence of elective authorities in Artsakh
is envisaged by a number of international documents.

Question – Is it possible that the recognition of the independence
of Kosovo will have an influence on the further settlement process
of the Karabakh conflict?

Answer – We believe that every conflict is peculiar in its nature, and
in these terms the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is not an exception. In
our opinion, every conflict should be considered taking into
consideration the peculiarities of the problem. Karabakh has its own
peculiarities, and Kosovo has its own distinctive features. Currently,
Karabakh moves forward in the direction of self-determination,
irrespective of the fact what final solutions will be reached with
regard to other conflicts. We should not forget that in difference
to the conflict of Kosovo, during which international forces and
the NATO put an end to the war in Serbia, and when the UN and the
European Union founded state institutions during seven years there,
it has already been about twenty years since Karabakh has been trying
to overcome the aggresion, which has been imposed on it, on its own
and successfully move forward along the way of building a statehood.

Irrespective of the fate of Kosovo, Nagorno Karabakh will move
forward in the direction of international recognition of the acquired

Question – At present, the Armenian peacekeeping forces are carrying
out a humanitarian mission in Iraq. Is it possible that Yerevan makes
a decision to call them back, taking into consideration the recent
complication of the situation in that country?

Answer – Armenia is exceptionally implementing a humanitarian mission
at the request of the Iraqi government elected through a democratic
way. We are, certainly, troubled about the complication of the
situation in Iraq, however, we believe that we should continue to
provide assistance to the Iraqi people.

Question – What is the position of Armenia with regard to the Russian
proposal concerning the joint use of the Gabala radiolocation station
by the United States of America and possibly by other countries
as well?

Answer – In our opinion, the issue of the use of the Gabala
radiolocation station is part of a great policy. As long as the issue
of the station operation and not the location of rockets is spoken
about, it cannot have any serious influence on the balance of forces
in the region. I think, it is Azerbaijan that has more reasons to be
troubled, as it can involuntarily become a victim of a great policy.

Question – Recently, the Russian-Armenian relations in the sphere of
economy have evidently become more active, and some specialists are
troubled about the fact that the considerable part of the Armenian
assets goes to the Russian business. Do you share this anxiety?

Answer – The commercial-economical cooperation with Russia is one of
the primary directions of the foreign economical policy for Armenia. We
should not forget that the Russian market has by tradition been more
available for us. Besides the already established bilateral relations
in such spheres as energy, transport, metallurgy, chemistry, and
trade, new directions for development of relations have appeared:
bank system, information technologies, tourism, as well as small and
large scale business.

About 700 organizations with the participation of the Russian capital
are currently registered in Armenia. The increase in the Russian
capital once again speaks about the fact that the Armenian market is
becoming more attractive not only for the Russian capital, but also
for that of other countries, and even remote investors. Armenia is
open for cooperation with all the countries.