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 Tuesday, April 23 2024 12:26
Alexandr Avanesov

Pashinyan: even in conditions of obvious imbalance, Azerbaijan  responds very aggressively to reforms of Armenia`s Armed Forces 

Pashinyan: even in conditions of obvious imbalance, Azerbaijan  responds very aggressively to reforms of Armenia`s Armed Forces 

ArmInfo.Any investor should be interested in peace in the investment environment and in the region.   Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan stated in an interview with British media representatives, commenting on the question that the UK has certain leverage over Azerbaijan through  "British Petroleum", whose investments of $35 billion allow Baku to purchase a large number of weapons from Russia, Turkey and Israel.  

According to Pashinyan, establishing peace is in the interests of the  international community, as well as investors. 

"You see I would not like to comment on business activities and  investments made in the neighboring countries, but one thing I can  say is that any investment should be motivated by having peace in the  region or the environment it's made.  In general, establishing peace  is in the interests of the international community and the investors,  but of course, the primary beneficiaries of peace are Armenia and  Azerbaijan.  And this theoretical premise, which is of course very  theoretical, could step by step be manifested in more substantive  terms. In the last 5 minth we have achieved two major agreements with  Azerbaijan. Eventually, the peoples of Armenia and Azerbaijan are  keen on peace.

Of course, the investors and broader economic stability are  interested in peace, but we are the primary beneficiaries of peace.   So a number of statements coming from Azerbaijan regarding the  reforms of Armenia's army and modernization are alarming us. You are  right pointing out that there is a strong misbalance between the  military budgets of Azerbaijan and Armenia and that is also the  results of the deals you referred to that generates income for  Azerbaijan, but what we are worried about is that even with this  misbalance, Azerbaijan is responding very aggressively to the reforms  of Armenia's armed forces and to the acquisition of arms and  equipments, although everyone understands that these acquisitions are  of solely defensive nature.  As I have repeatedly said that no  country can challenge the right of another country to have a combat  ready army and I think having a strong army is sometimes used for  war, but having such an army is also important for peace, for  balancing the powers. That's also the reason why when Azerbaijan  raises those questions, referring particularly to Armenia's  acquisition of weapons, which is not more than 15-20% of Azerbaijan's  acquisitions in terms of cost and volume, and our acquisitions are  mostly of defensive nature, we respond to those statements.  We  invited Azerbaijan to introduce a bilateral arms control mechanism,  so that we can mutually agree upon a way to avoid provoking arms race  in our region.  We proposed and we continue to propose simultaneous  withdrawal of troops from the border declared on the bases of the  1991 Alma-Ata declaration. That proposal still stands. We also  invited to sign a non- aggression pact before even any peace  agreement. A pact on non-aggression is a much simpler one, and now,  when the 1991 Alma-Ata declaration is being used as the bases for the  delimitation process, we can sign a simple paper promising that we  will not attack each other on the bases that we have recognized each  other's territorial integrity and do not have territorial claim from  each other.  Therefore, I think we should continue our work with this  logic. The agreement reached last Friday between the Delimitation  commissions of the two countries could contribute to stability.   Let's ask another question. We speak about the military budgets, but  of course durable and longer-term peace would enable all of us to  spend less resources on arms and direct them to the solution of  socio- economic problems of our countries.  This year, Armenia  progressed a lot in terms of GDP per capita, but still Armenia and  Azerbaijan have numerous social problems. And when it is possible and  when we have peace, it will enable the governments of both countries  to invest in socio-economic developments, and also at some point, we  could also think about regional economic development.  It is in the  context of the regional economic development, that we adopted and  introduced the Crossroad of Peace project, which I hope you are aware  of. We are thinking along those lines. What I mean is that we are not  preparing for war, we are preparing for peace. On the other hand,  though, as long as we are not convinced that the Republic of Armenia  will not undergo attack, we naturally have to build up our defensive  capabilities. As I have said, the Republic of Armenia does not have  any ambitions in any directions beyond the 29.743 km2 territory. And  we think this is the foundation based on which we need to build and  develop our sovereignty and independence," the RA PM  noted. 

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