ArmInfo. Judging by the statements of the conflict parties' officials and multiple publications in the government-controlled media, the parties have asymmetric readiness for concessions, said Armenia's second President Robert Kocharyan in his exclusive interview to RFE/RL Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am), when commenting on the rumors about Nagorno-Karabakh's status in exchange for territories.
"The Armenian side's readiness is greatly emphasized, but in Azerbaijan there isn't even a hint for a concession in the issues of principal importance for us. This situation angers the public in Armenia and Karabakh, causes negative expectations from the negotiations, and can become a reason for defeatist sentiments," Robert Kocharyan said. In his words, during 10 years of his presidency, the sides were really close to the settlement of the conflict only once in Key West, but Azerbaijan failed the process refusing to sign the package and comprehensive settlement scheme that implied NKR's unification with Armenia, return of the territories and a range of security measures.
As for the Madrid Principles, they emerged later and were not designed for signing, Robert Kocharyan said. He explained that the Madrid Principles were a basis for the future agreement.
"It is evident that Madrid principles in their original state don't comply with the new reality anymore and need to be reviewed. The first revision should concern consolidation of security guarantees, clarification of referendum terms with return of territories attached to it. For instance, this is what could be the integral part of an agreement: restoration of military balance, strict and controlled obligations for the parties and the international community to maintain that balance for at least 25 years," Kocharyan said. At the same time, the second president of Armenia is sure that the independence of NKR and a common border with Armenia cannot be a subject for bargaining.
"The April war must toughen and not weaken Armenia's approach to the settlement, as there are more risks of future concessions," he said.
Robert Kocharyan stressed the need for security guarantees and links the referendum and return of the territories under control of Karabakh. "Considering the zero level of mutual confidence, it is necessary to rule out any uncertainty or free interpretation of any point of the future agreement," Robert Kocharyan said.
"Today we see that a number of unfavorable factors are accumulating, which gives rise to serious concerns. The disturbance of military balance because of the sale of Russian weapons, unpleasant resolutions and reports of international organizations on the Karabakh issue, formation of a new format of regional cooperation upon the initiative of Azerbaijan, the creation of the North-South Transport Corridor that bypasses Armenia: All these processes with their geopolitical consequences will have a lasting negative impact on the country's economy and its weight and influence in regional and international affairs, as well as on our resources to have our say in the talks over Karabakh. The authorities should be able to analyze the causes of all those processes and find a practical solution to counter the existing challenges. By the way, we do not have much time to handle the situation,' the second president said for conclusion.
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