Unacceptable Approach For Us

UNACCEPTABLE APPROACH FOR US
LILIT POGHOSYAN

Hayots Ashkhar Daily
10 Oct 2008
Armenia

In response to the questions of the correspondent of "Hayots Ashkharh"
daily head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NKR National
Assembly Vahram Atanesyan continues to comment on the accentuations
of "Karabakh" in Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview
given to "Rosiyskaya Gazeta".

"What do you think the alarming accentuations of RF Foreign Minister
are conditioned by?"

"The only thing I can do in this regard is to make theoretical
assumptions. The West and Russia seem to have exhausted their limits
of mutual concessions. If the western alliance -NATO’s European member
countries and the USA unilaterally recognized Kosovo’s independence,
in response to this Russia recognized the independence of South Osatia
and Abkhazia. On this plane the "resource of mutual concession"
is exhausted and at present they are trying to find common edges,
to show that it is possible to build relations not only on the field
of confrontation but agreement. And there is an impression that they
want to build these relations around Karabakh conflict.

On the one hand it is desirable for the mediators – the United States,
Russia and France that, in essence, represents European Union in
the negotiation process, that is to say the wo rld power centers,
to reach a "consensus" on the settlement of Karabakh conflict. But,
I must repeat, that consensus must derive from the agreement between
NKR and Azerbaijan, which must be based on mutual concession, the
perception of mutual interests and mutual trust.

If Azerbaijan perceives NKR’s independence, the start of bilateral
relations, and issues linked with the elaboration of economic and
communicational programs, then Karabakh will discuss all the issues
of concern for Azerbaijan. Karabakh will never agree to unilateral
concessions."

"Can we conclude from Lavrov’s announcements that the Presidents of
Armenia and Azerbaijan must decide Karabakh’s fate, in the framework
of bilateral agreement."

"Unfortunately in the interview of the RF Foreign Minister Karabakh’s
role is not stressed, which is not natural, because Karabakh is
the first subject of the conflict, it was NKR people that raised
the issue of their independence, it was Karabakh that separated from
Azerbaijan by means of a pan-national referendum. On the contrary, it
was stressed that the negotiation is between Armenia and Azerbaijan,
which means any agreement reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan can
be imposed upon the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.

These statements simply contradict the approaches voiced by Russia,
substantiating the imperative of the recognition of South Osatia’s
and Abkhazia9s independence. It is a vivid example of a double
standard policy.

NKR is not a conflicting object it is a competent subject and the
agreement must firstly derive from the interests of the Republic of
Nagorno Karabakh.

This is what Mr. Lavrov’s interview lacks. I don’t think the issue will
find swift solution with similar approaches. Moreover this road gives
rise to new questions, which are beyond the interests of the regional
countries and are on the plane of the geo-political developments.

Is it desirable for South Caucasus to over again appear in the focus of
the crash of geopolitical interests? Each solution must give answers
to the existing questions instead of giving rise to new questions. In
this regard it is simply surprising when one of the Co-Chairmen
countries, in the person of the RF Foreign Minister announces that
one of the conflicting parties doesn’t have any alternative and the
only opportunity is to reopen its border with Turkey, at the expense
of being more "constructive", more "tolerant" and more "flexible"
in the issue of the regulation of Karabakh conflict.

For us it is an unacceptable approach. If this were the starting
point, Armenia could have manifested this flexibility in 1989, when
Moscow proposed to make 400 million ruble’s investment in Karabakh,
or we wouldn’t have held the referendum of independence in 1991,
or in 1 997 when Armenia and Azerbaijan had, in fact reached an
agreement regarding the phazal settlement of the conflict, which
presumed autonomy inside Azerbaijan.

These accentuations that include elements of threat, trying to create
a public opinion that the alternative of "flexibility" is complete
isolation for Armenia, which can be followed by social concussions
don’t match with diplomatic ethics, or inter-state relations, or the
practice of the settlement of conflicts."

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