We should try to make our environment as manageable and predictable in terms of security, says Armenian PM

 23:17, 25 October 2023

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 25, ARMENPRESS. Armenia's understanding of the security sphere, first of all, is based on the fact that we should try to make our environment as manageable and predictable as possible in terms of security. And Armenia, in turn, should be predictable for the environment. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this in an interview with Wall Street Journal reporter Yaroslav Trofimov

Answering the correspondent's following  question : "When you talk about diversifying your relationship, what do you mean by that, what can other countries do?" Do you expect the military presence of other partners, an American or French military base or maybe India? In practice, how do you see it?" Nikol Pashinyan answered: ''I want to say that we  do wrong when by security we mean only the army, only weapons, because, unfortunately, in many cases we see that there are countries that do not have a problem with weapons, but have a problem with security. And there are countries that have a weapon  problem but no security problem. Of course, it depends on many circumstances, environment, etc.

Now, our understanding of security is, first of all, based on the fact that we should try to make our environment as security-manageable and predictable as possible. And we have to be predictable for the environment. That is, the threats are generally mutual, and sometimes it is very difficult to find the starting point, because it is always a chicken and egg situation.

And sometimes there is no point in even looking for this starting point, because nothing changes from it. And when we talk about regulating our security relations, by regulating security relations we do not mean that we should bring weapons from other places and shoot at neighboring states. In this very area of security, we must shape relationships with our neighbors to build the right security relationships.

PM Pashinyan considered the delimitation of borders with Azerbaijan, mutual recognition of territorial integrity, rules for opening communications, all of them to be very important parts of the security policy.

‘’The approach according to which we must find allies somewhere, bring weapons to shoot at our neighbors, is not our approach. Of course, we have fears that our neighbors will shoot at us. But these concerns also need to be managed. But on the other hand, I think that any modern country should and has the right to have a modern army, has the right to develop its armed forces, has the right to meet its security needs. We think that security should not be ensured only by the army, but we also need to go for peace in the region…. By the way, in my speech in the European Parliament I said that we mean by  saying peace.

When we talk about peace, we mean that the borders of all countries in the region are open to each other on the same principles; we mean that these countries are connected by economic ties, connected by political dialogue and conversation, and connected by cultural ties. This is an important security component. Because it allows your opponent to understand you better, and it allows you to understand your opponent better. This is what makes it possible for mutual ties to be formed, and the security of your opponent to some extent becomes important for you, and your security also becomes important for your opponent, because otherwise economic risks, political risks may arise,'' said Nikol pashinyan.

''You talked about interconnectivity, which presumably also includes transit from Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan. The existing agreements call for the role of Russian FSB in controlling, managing this traffic. Do you think FSB should really play a role here, or can Armenia and Azerbaijan deal with this on their own, without Russia's involvement?'' asked Wall Street Journal reporter Yaroslav Trofimov.

''First of all, I would like to emphasize that there is no separate agenda regarding the connection between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan. Such an agenda exists in the context of the opening of regional communications, when all regional communications must be opened. This is the second. Thirdly, it is not written anywhere that any body of the Russian Federation should have control over any territory of the Republic of Armenia. Nowhere is it written that the Republic of Armenia agrees for any limitation of its sovereign right. It is not written anywhere that any function assigned to the state institutions of the Republic of Armenia should be delegated to someone else. It is not written anywhere and it is not intended, there is no such thing that someone else should provide security in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. No such thing was written.

In general, after the failure of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation in Nagorno-Karabakh, many questions arise, and these questions are legitimate, because by saying failure I mean that it is a fact that the peacekeeping troops of the Russian Federation were unable or unwilling to ensure the safety of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. Very serious questions arise here, but on the other hand, there has never been any talk of restricting any sovereign right of the Republic of Armenia and there can be no such talk.

But on the other hand, I want to say that as I already said at the European Parliament, and as we already agreed at the last Brussels meeting and which was expressed in the July 15 statement of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the opening of regional communications should take place on the basis of countries' sovereignty and jurisdiction,'' Nikol Pashinyan answered.

As a result, should the western regions of Azerbaijan have a transport connection with Nakhichevan, including through the territory of Armenia? Yes of course. Can the Republic of Armenia use those same routes, for example, to provide a railway connection between its different parts? Yes of course: In that case, can Azerbaijan use the transport routes of Armenia for international trade? Yes of course. Should Armenia have the opportunity to use the roads of Azerbaijan for international trade? Yes of course. Should international trade participants have the opportunity to trade with Turkey, Iran, and Georgia through the territory of Armenia as a global trade route? Yes of course. And we make this proposal, we are ready for this solution and we call this proposal "Crossroads of Peace" and we invite all our partners to make this project a reality together.