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 Saturday, September 19 2020 14:58
Emmanuil Mkrtchyan

Robert Kocharyan spoke for the development of new approaches to  regional security issues

Robert Kocharyan spoke for the development of new approaches to  regional security issues

ArmInfo. The second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan spoke for the need to develop new approaches to regional security issues, ensuring synchronization  within the framework of global processes of escalation of relations  between Russia and the West. Kocharyan expressed this idea at a  meeting held yesterday with a number of political observers and  analysts.

According to his point of view, if during his leadership of  Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, the positions of the world centers of  power - the West and Russia - largely coincided, today they rather  differ and this narrows the gap that Armenia can use, adhering to the  policy of complementarism. Kocharyan compared Armenian politics to a  ship caught in a severe storm, and in order to navigate successfully,  it needs to mobilize all its intellectual potential and develop an  effective program to overcome the challenge. At the same time, he  expressed doubts that the current government is capable of doing  this, which, according to the second president, has neither  experience nor skills.

However, at the same time, Kocharyan does not think that the joint  work of other countries that represent different, and conflicting  with each other, centers of power in the person of the OSCE Minsk  Group co- chairs, can be disrupted and the bridges burned. In  Kocharyan's opinion, a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem is  beneficial to all parties - co-sponsors of the peace process in  connection with the desire to prevent escalation and preserve  regional stability. In this regard, Kocharyan considers it wrong to  draw parallels between the Karabakh settlement and the current  situation in Ukraine, the conflict in which is dictated by completely  different geopolitical prerequisites. Although, according to  Kocharyan's conviction, despite the official and public expression of  complete loyalty to the northern ally, the Armenian authorities are  secretly preparing the next generation for a change in the country's  geopolitical orientation.

Speaking about the history and current state of the peace process,  the second president, as well as the current political elite of the  country, spoke in favor of the need to return Nagorno-Karabakh to the  negotiating table, but at the same time denied accusations that it  was he who at one time initiated the exclusion of NKR from the list  of the parties to the conflict.  Nevertheless, in his words, Artsakh  is still present in the negotiation formats, which have three main  components: trips of the co-chairs to the region and meetings with  the leaders of the countries, including the NKR presidents, direct  meetings between the heads of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the  work of the monitoring mission, which works directly with the  leadership of Artsakh. "I don't think Azerbaijan will agree to return  Karabakh to the negotiating table, but we need to strive for this.  But Azerbaijan should not be given a reason to motivate the refusal  with such public statements as "Karabakh is Armenia, and that's  final!" If Karabakh and Armenia are a common unit, then why should  Azerbaijan negotiate with Karabakh, "Kocharyan wondered, critically  stressing that" the new authorities not only do not know what to do,  but what is most regrettable, they do not know what not to do. >.

Kocharyan expressed his firm conviction that it is by no means  possible to identify Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. Moreover, under  his leadership of Karabakh, and then of Armenia, there were always  tactical contradictions between the two Armenian republics, they just  did not go public. Whether they dealt with military issues or the  negotiation process. "We were partners, but Karabakh was never  considered as a unit subordinate to Armenia, which is the case  today," the second president emphasized, noting that in any case, the  position of Karabakh in the same negotiation process should always be  more radical. "Sometimes, as the President of Armenia, I didn't like  it, but in the end I came to the conclusion that this is the right  position, since the asymmetry of the positions of Armenia and the NKR  strengthens the common negotiating platform," he stressed.

Kocharyan spoke about the main stages in the history of the  negotiation process, saying that the positions of the parties were  very close to resolution at the talks in Key West in 2001, when the  former President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, was almost ready to  sign an agreement, which implied Azerbaijan's de facto renunciation  of claims to Nagorno-Karabakh in exchange for the provision by  Armenia of the so-called sovereign transport corridor through the  territory of the Meghri region, which would link the Nakhichevan  autonomy with Azerbaijan by means of tunnels and flyovers. Aliyev  refused to sign the agreement at the last moment due to strong  opposition to the plan from the Azerbaijani political elite. As  Kocharyan noted, the precedent for such a corridor exists in the  Balkans and connects mainland Croatia with the Dubrovnik enclave.

At the same time, Kocharyan spoke about the idea of a "Common State",  which was not included in the agenda of the talks, but was expressed  as an option "on one page" by the then Russian Foreign Minister  Yevgeny Primakov. It was analogous to the Dayton Accords, which  formed the basis of the agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina that  ended the 1992-1995 civil war. Azerbaijan categorically disagreed  with this settlement plan, while it did not express its position,  being sure that the opposing side would not even consider it.

Speaking about the Madrid principles of settlement that were finally  formed in 2007, where for the first time the internationally  recognized right of nations to self-determination was fixed,  Kocharyan expressed the opinion that it was on this principle that  the legal foundation for the creation and existence of an independent  Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was formed and was based. In legal terms,  this foundation is invulnerable and the mediators understand this.  However, the solution to the problem has always been in line with  political processes and political settlement. Therefore, according to  Kocharyan, it is wrong to say today that the priority, the basis for  the existence of Artsakh as a republic should be security. The basis  is the unshakable legal foundations of the existence of the Artsakh  Republic, this is the strength of the positions of Karabakh,  Kocharyan said.

Nevertheless, discussing the security system of Karabakh, Kocharyan  noted that the presence of a security belt is a very important  component. "When we outlined this security line, we understood that  without the regions around Karabakh we would have increased the line  of contact 6-8 times, and with a very difficult geographic relief.  And then, as a result, the army would have to be increased by 3-4  times. The dilemma is this. Thus, it is impossible to talk about the  possibility of surrendering the territories around Nagorno- Karabakh  without strict guarantees, but in today's changing world it is almost  impossible to obtain such long-term guarantees.

"Today they talk about substantive negotiations, which cannot but  cause concern. After all, these are negotiations in essence and  relate to territorial issues. I don't think that in this regard the  OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs can exert direct pressure, but such  pressure can be indirect, "Kocharyan said.

Speaking about the activation of the Turkish factor, which manifested  itself in the course of the recent Tavush events, Kocharyan expressed  the opinion that the tightening of Turkey's positions is not  exclusively related to the Karabakh confrontation and should be  considered in the context of the new geopolitical appetites of this  country, which wants to oppose Russia's interests in our region.  Turkey wants to be reckoned with, not only in Syria, where it sent  troops, but also in the Karabakh issue. The only country that is  capable of resisting aggressive Turkish claims is Russia. And talk  that Russia is weakening due to sanctions is groundless and  completely unfounded.  Moreover, Russia is strengthening its  influence and position.  Kocharyan expressed his conviction that  Armenia needs a mobilization management in this situation.  However,  the history of the spread of coronavirus infection suggests that such  management does not work in the country. "It was this mobilization  that at one time ensured our victory and made it possible to realize  our dream," Kocharyan said.

This mobilization should, according to Kocharyan, bring together all  the interrelated factors aimed at creating a powerful state supported  by a strong army, a strong economy, technology, lobbying potential,  as the same Israel began to do in its time, signing today treaties  that until recently seemed unthinkable ... Kocharyan expressed the  idea that without this comprehensive approach, the Armenian army, of  course, being able to repulse any aggression, without the presence of  powerful economic, demographic and other mobilization resources, in  the long term, may find itself in a vulnerable position.


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