Arminfo.info




 Thursday, May 26 2016 09:28

Tatevik Shahunyan

Samvel Babayan: I am back to Artsakh and it is for the people to decide the rest

Samvel Babayan: I am back to Artsakh and it is for the people to decide the rest

The situation in the Karabakh conflict zone triggers concerns today, ex-defense minister of Artsakh Samvel Babayan says in an interview with 7.or.am portal.  

He stresses that in 2013, when he was abroad, he wrote a confidential letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, warning him of possible military threats by Azerbaijan. However, Babayan hints that his recommendations remained unheard.     

When analyzing the recent developments in the Karabakh conflict zone, Babayan thinks that the Armenian side's accusations against Russia about supply of military hardware to Azerbaijan are biased: "Russia has never refused to supply Armenia with modern weapons. Moreover, as a member of the CSTO, we have had an opportunity to purchase weapons on preferential terms. In the 1990s, both we and Azerbaijan purchased weapons from Russia. We won the war and Baku started complaining that Russia allegedly helped us. This is wrong tactics and unfortunately we have also fallen into error today. One should never pin victory hopes on foreign forces, it is first of all necessary to rely on one's own forces and capacities. Russia has never fought and will never fight in Karabakh instead of us," Babayan says, noting that Russia will always strive to develop good relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. It needs both states. However, given Armenia's CSTO membership and the tense relations between Russia and Turkey, Moscow gives higher priority to the relations with Armenia. 

Babayan stresses that in international relations "the policy of so-called kindness" does not play or cannot play a serious role. "For instance, we liberated Kelbajar, Zangelan, Fizuli without any international "kindness". Quite the opposite, we did it in defiance of the will of superpowers and international community," Babakyan says. 
When asked why the Armenian authorities failed to purchase the necessary quantity of arms from Russia, Babayan replies that after the meeting in Kazan in 2011, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan made opposite conclusions. "Before that, Azerbaijan had managed to considerably modernize its arsenal and after the meeting that process received a fresh impetus. The leadership of Armenia, on the contrary, thought that refusing the proposed settlement principles Azerbaijan would find itself in isolation and would not dare to unleash hostilities. At that time, the Armenian authorities took a decision to focus on other problems.  Unlike the leadership of Azerbaijan, the political elite of Armenia did not consider security to be a priority before the April war," Babayan says. 

Meanwhile, Babayan thinks that Azerbaijan seeks to destroy the current status quo. "Azerbaijan will not make compromises during the negotiations. It wants everything and we can restrain it only by maintaining the military balance in favor of the Armenian party," he says. 

Babayan believes that the situation can be improved today, but it would be wrong to think that that there is much time for it. "It will take at least 10 months to completely modernize the army and to raise the management to a qualitatively new level. This also concerns purchase of modern weapons and ammunition", he said. Babayan promises to give more detailed assessment of the April war in the near future. When speaking of his upcoming plans, Babayan says that he intends to leave for Karabakh, because he states that "his key mission is to be conducted in Artsakh. The rest should be decided by the people". He stresses that he is not going to join a political force. "But I see people with a new mentality, who can seriously influence the political processes and I hope they will succeed," Babayan says. 

Samvel Babayan is a military, statesman and political figure, Lt.  General, Artsakh National Hero.  Since 1992 he had been coordinating the defense operations of NKR regions, participated in the development of Shushi liberation operation, participated in the international talks for settlement of the Karabakh conflict, was commander of the NKR Defense Army. He signed the ceasefire treaty of Armenia and NKR with Azerbaijan on behalf of the NKR. He was a member of the government and security council at the NKR President. In 2001, he was accused of organizing assassination attempt on NKR president Arkady Ghoukassyan that resulted in serious wounds of the Karabakh president, one of his bodyguards and the driver. He was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment but was pardoned by President Arkady Ghoukassyan on September 17 2010 on occasion of the 13th anniversary of the referendum of independence of NKR.  He founded the Justice opposition bloc in Armenia.

In March 2005, Samvel Babayan said in an interview with RFE/RL Armenian Service that the sides to the conflict are not able to go on big concessions. Specifically, he said, the sides cannot assume the responsibility for mutual concessions. In response to the question about what particular concessions Nagorno Karabakh could make, Samvel Babayan said: "It is a fact  that Nagorno Karabakh should go on concessions, cede some territories for peace, and peace not just in NKR, but also in the Caucasus, for the future. However, it depends on how high will be the guarantee of its security. Some link the security to army, but I don't think so. Security is connected with these very territories and there are serious issues that should be settled within these frameworks. In this light, the status of Nagorno Karabakh is a secondary issue," Babayan said. It is necessary to settle the issue of refugees, forced migrants. They should return to their homes and confidence-building problems must be settled politically. As for the possibility of the resumption of military actions, the ex-minister of defense of NKR said: "If the parties fail to resolve the conflict peacefully then a war between them will take place sooner or later." He said the steps taken by the Azerbaijan army show that it is preparing for war," Samvel Babayan said. 

POST A COMMENT
Input digits     

News
Putin, Pashinyan discuss situation around Nagorno-KarabakhPutin, Pashinyan discuss situation around Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenian Ambassador to Kyiv raises issue of POWs held in AzerbaijanArmenian Ambassador to Kyiv raises issue of POWs held in Azerbaijan
Armenian Embassy in Greece categorically refutes its involvement in  spying on Greek oppositionistArmenian Embassy in Greece categorically refutes its involvement in  spying on Greek oppositionist
Forecast: Even after achieving his goals in Artsakh, Aliyev will  continue to exert military pressure on ArmeniaForecast: Even after achieving his goals in Artsakh, Aliyev will  continue to exert military pressure on Armenia
Turkmenistan will host transport Conference of landlocked developing countriesTurkmenistan will host transport Conference of landlocked developing countries
Border Guards of Russian FSS explain reasons for strengthening  control at Meghri-Agarak sectionBorder Guards of Russian FSS explain reasons for strengthening  control at Meghri-Agarak section
Beijing hopes Baku and Yerevan will find ways to resolve differences  through political dialogueBeijing hopes Baku and Yerevan will find ways to resolve differences  through political dialogue
Iranologist: To overcome the current situation, Armenia have to  coordinate its efforts with Tehran and MoscowIranologist: To overcome the current situation, Armenia have to  coordinate its efforts with Tehran and Moscow
Erdogan: Yerevan`s response to the Erdogan: Yerevan`s response to the "sincere" calls of Ankara and Baku  is a guarantee of stability in the South Caucasus
Chess Olympiad: Armenia gives us lead to Uzbekistan Chess Olympiad: Armenia gives us lead to Uzbekistan 
Environment Ministry of Armenia reminds citizens about responsibility  for collecting plants listed in Red BookEnvironment Ministry of Armenia reminds citizens about responsibility  for collecting plants listed in Red Book
Ankara continues to threaten ArmeniaAnkara continues to threaten Armenia
No evacuation of Berdzor residents in trilateral statement - Karen  VrtanesyanNo evacuation of Berdzor residents in trilateral statement - Karen  Vrtanesyan
"If we lose Artsakh, we will turn the last but one, if not the last,  page of Armenian history" - Artsakh Beglaryan
Armenian, Nagorno-Karabakh defense offices refute Azerbaijani reports Armenian, Nagorno-Karabakh defense offices refute Azerbaijani reports 
Russian peacekeepers report one ceasefire violation by Azerbaijani  side Russian peacekeepers report one ceasefire violation by Azerbaijani  side 
Armenian soldier wounded on combat positionArmenian soldier wounded on combat position
Armenian Assembly of America calls on UN General Assembly President  to clarify his position on Armenian Genocide Armenian Assembly of America calls on UN General Assembly President  to clarify his position on Armenian Genocide 
Congresswoman calls on U.S. and its allies to condemn Azerbaijan`s  violence against ArtsakhCongresswoman calls on U.S. and its allies to condemn Azerbaijan`s  violence against Artsakh
Back in February 2021, Yerevan conveyed to Moscow its concerns about  possible problems in the activities of the Russian peacekeepers: RA  MFABack in February 2021, Yerevan conveyed to Moscow its concerns about  possible problems in the activities of the Russian peacekeepers: RA  MFA
Artsakh State Minister criticizes artificial parity of international  institutions in their calls to Azerbaijan and ArmeniaArtsakh State Minister criticizes artificial parity of international  institutions in their calls to Azerbaijan and Armenia
Charles Michel discuss latest developments in region with Aliyev and  PashinyanCharles Michel discuss latest developments in region with Aliyev and  Pashinyan
Despite some tension, operative situation is relatively stableDespite some tension, operative situation is relatively stable
Armenian Prime Minister  holds phone conversation with US Secretary  of StateArmenian Prime Minister  holds phone conversation with US Secretary  of State
Political scientist: Baku demonstrated to Yerevan that in case of  refusal to provide Political scientist: Baku demonstrated to Yerevan that in case of  refusal to provide "Zangezur corridor", it will cover the corridor  through Lachin
Forecast: With the surrender of Berdzor, Azerbaijani military  blackmail will not stopForecast: With the surrender of Berdzor, Azerbaijani military  blackmail will not stop
U.S.  Ambassador to OSCE calls for immediate steps to reduce tensions  in Nagorno-KarabakhU.S.  Ambassador to OSCE calls for immediate steps to reduce tensions  in Nagorno-Karabakh
Police investigate attack on Azerbaijani embassy in LondonPolice investigate attack on Azerbaijani embassy in London
Direct connection established between Defense Ministers of Armenia,  Azerbaijan has not been operatingDirect connection established between Defense Ministers of Armenia,  Azerbaijan has not been operating
Artsakh Defense Army: Azerbaijani Defense Ministry continues to  spread misinformationArtsakh Defense Army: Azerbaijani Defense Ministry continues to  spread misinformation
UN Secretary General expresses concern about growing tension in  Nagorno-KarabakhUN Secretary General expresses concern about growing tension in  Nagorno-Karabakh
Armenia`s defense office refutes Azerbaijan`s disinformationArmenia`s defense office refutes Azerbaijan`s disinformation
Moscow not yet seen Armenian side`s initiatives in context of Russian  peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh - Russian FMMoscow not yet seen Armenian side`s initiatives in context of Russian  peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh - Russian FM
Incumbent authorities` resignation only way out - RPAIncumbent authorities` resignation only way out - RPA
Russian peacekeepers report ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan Russian peacekeepers report ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan 
Situation along frontline remains tense Situation along frontline remains tense 
Russia will take measures to prevent escalation, commander of Russian  peacekeeping contingent assuresRussia will take measures to prevent escalation, commander of Russian  peacekeeping contingent assures
Charles Michel is in close contact with leaders of Armenia,  Azerbaijan for immediate de-escalation of situationCharles Michel is in close contact with leaders of Armenia,  Azerbaijan for immediate de-escalation of situation
Minsk: We hope that the agreements signed by Yerevan and Baku through  the mediation of Russia will be fully and unconditionally observed.Minsk: We hope that the agreements signed by Yerevan and Baku through  the mediation of Russia will be fully and unconditionally observed.
NATO calls on Armenia, Azerbaijan to return to negotiating tableNATO calls on Armenia, Azerbaijan to return to negotiating table
RA MoD reports that  reservist Atom Harutyunyan died in his sleep RA MoD reports that  reservist Atom Harutyunyan died in his sleep 
Armenian FM briefs heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia  on Azerbaijan`s aggression against Nagorno-KarabakhArmenian FM briefs heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia  on Azerbaijan`s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh
View from Moscow: Azerbaijan`s actions in Karabakh are part of a  larger projectView from Moscow: Azerbaijan`s actions in Karabakh are part of a  larger project
Forecast: Pressure on Armenia will grow, but there will be no big warForecast: Pressure on Armenia will grow, but there will be no big war
Moscow called on parties to Karabakh conflict to show restraint and  observe ceasefireMoscow called on parties to Karabakh conflict to show restraint and  observe ceasefire
Kremlin: Putin does not plan telephone conversations with Aliyev amid  escalation in Nagorno-KarabakhKremlin: Putin does not plan telephone conversations with Aliyev amid  escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
MEPs react to Azerbaijan`s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh and  demand EU`s proper responseMEPs react to Azerbaijan`s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh and  demand EU`s proper response
Peskov: The Kremlin is concerned about the aggravation of the  situation in Nagorno-KarabakhPeskov: The Kremlin is concerned about the aggravation of the  situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
Financing of National Security Service to be increased by AMD 724  million Financing of National Security Service to be increased by AMD 724  million 
Artsakh Parliament: We urge the Russian peacekeepers to carry out all  the necessary actions to ensure the stability of the contact lineArtsakh Parliament: We urge the Russian peacekeepers to carry out all  the necessary actions to ensure the stability of the contact line
Construction of alternative road to Lachin to be completed in spring:  SanosyanConstruction of alternative road to Lachin to be completed in spring:  Sanosyan
Nikol Pashinyan confirms Armenia`s readiness to ensure connection of  western regions of Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan through RANikol Pashinyan confirms Armenia`s readiness to ensure connection of  western regions of Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan through RA
No trilateral plan of new Lachin corridor route construction  available - Nikol PashinyanNo trilateral plan of new Lachin corridor route construction  available - Nikol Pashinyan
Details of Russian peacekeeping operation in Nagorno-Karabakh need  specifying - Nikol Pashinyan Details of Russian peacekeeping operation in Nagorno-Karabakh need  specifying - Nikol Pashinyan 
CSTO Sec Gen issues statement on escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh. CSTO Sec Gen issues statement on escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh. 
US Department of State, EU issue statements on escalation in  Nagorno-Karabakh  US Department of State, EU issue statements on escalation in  Nagorno-Karabakh  
Azerbaijan violates ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh - RF defense officeAzerbaijan violates ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh - RF defense office
Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders condemn Azerbaijan`s latest  attempt to ethnically cleanse Artsakh`s indigenous ArmeniansCongressional Armenian Caucus leaders condemn Azerbaijan`s latest  attempt to ethnically cleanse Artsakh`s indigenous Armenians
Situation along line of contact relatively stable Situation along line of contact relatively stable 
Human Rights Defender calls upon ambassadors of MG Co-Chair Countries  to make efforts guaranteeing right to life of peaceful population of  ArtsakhHuman Rights Defender calls upon ambassadors of MG Co-Chair Countries  to make efforts guaranteeing right to life of peaceful population of  Artsakh
Read more



Commented