ArmInfo.Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan categorically disagrees with the statement that Belarus's sale of weapons to Azerbaijan is aimed at establishing a balance of power in the South Caucasus.
Thus, in an interview with the Belarusian ProSveta, answering the relevant question, he said in particular: "No, we do not accept this, this is unacceptable. We are allies within the CSTO and have obligations within the CSTO. As for the issue of selling weapons to Azerbaijan, please note that our compatriots are killed by this weapon. For you, this is a business, for us it is a weapon that kills our people. Therefore, we have had this sensitivity and it remains very high.
To clarify whether there are any arguments to convince Belarus to limit this kind of business, Mnatsakanyan expressed the conviction that the arguments are as follows: the lack of security in the South Caucasus region will have very serious consequences.
According to him, this concerns interests much broader than the South Caucasus region. Mnatsakanyan once again stressed that the arms race in the region does not contribute to stability. "We very strictly remain committed to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we have very clearly expressed positions in this sense. Most importantly, this is not just some amorphous question, but a question that concerns the existential security of our people. We have enough hard history associated with this conflict: in the 1990s there were situations when Nagorno-Karabakh could simply cease to exist, in the early 1990s 40% of the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was occupied by Azerbaijan and 40% of our population was subject to ethnic cleansing. Armenia was and remains the security guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh. Karabakh was able to protect itself. Today, a security system has been established which is carried out by the forces of Nagorno-Karabakh. We have a situation when a murderer of a person of Armenian nationality becomes a hero of Azerbaijan, when ultimatums are made and then attempts of aggression are made, as it happened in April of 2016. For us, all this confirms once again that this question concerns the strictly existential security of specific people. These are specific people, they have names and surnames. This is not an abstraction for us, "said the Armenian minister, adding that the protection potential suggests that, yes, there will be consequences, and they will concern everyone.
In this sense, according to Mnatsakanyan, there is no alternative to peace, there is no alternative to a peaceful resolution of this conflict, and any assistance to the escalation of the situation is not in the interests of peace. According to him, it is a question of responsibility.