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.