STEPANAKERT–“The independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan lie in different legal fields. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic independence doesn’t violate Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity at all, first of all because Nagorno-Karabakh has never been a constituent of the Azerbaijani state and just as in the Soviet period this Armenian region, despite of its population’s will, was forced to be part of the Azerbaijani SSR,”explained the acting Foreign Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Vassily Atajanian in an interview with REGNUM agency.
“The international-legal bases of the NKR’s formation are in full accordance with international law and the acting legislation of the USSR, two independent states– the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the Azerbaijani Republic – were formed in the territory of the former Azerbaijani SSR. Nagorno Karabakh declared firmly and resolutely its future and any other resolution than the one on its independence, adopted by its people at the 1991 referendum and endorsed by the Constitution in 2006, is unacceptable. We reject any settlement model, which can challenge the historical choice of our people. NKR President Bako Sahakian has repeatedly emphasized at meetings on different-levels that the independence of Artsakh and its people’s security cannot be a subject to bargaining,” Atajanian said.
“Unlike Azerbaijan, where a medieval sultanate and a clannish practice of passing the power from father to son are reigning, the NKR, since its formation, has assumed the course of building a democratic state ensuring all the rights and freedoms for its citizens. The NKR leadership intends to continue the policy of comprehensive development of the Republic and its democratic institutes and has repeatedly expressed its readiness for mutually beneficial cooperation with all the interested states. It is praising that with the lapse of time the international community, including the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen, more and more inclines to the recognition of the fact of the NKR independent existence. The Artsakh people have proven their right to a sovereign state, which has demonstrated its ability to assume responsibility and to fulfill international commitments, though unilaterally. The international recognition of the NKR will endorse the existing realities,” Vassily Atajanian said.
According to the acting Foreign Minister, “The Azerbaijani party must bring itself to the ability to refuse of the technologies and stereotypes distorting the essence of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, as it is extremely unacceptable and dangerous to use the situation for propaganda ends. The talks on the ‘return’ of Nagorno Karabakh into the structure of Azerbaijan are absurd.”
“Official Baku has always skillfully used the negotiation process for its selfish ends, misleading the international organizations and distracting them from the essence of the issue. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan participates in the settlement process for conducting a wide-scale propaganda war against Armenia and Artsakh and not for searching a mutually acceptable mechanism for the conflict settlement. This war expands from year to year, gaining new sophisticated methods of falsifications, provocations, and revanchist threats.
“Azerbaijan replaces the conflict settlement process with attempts to transfer the issue to the auspice of the UN, Council of Europe, European Parliament, and other international organizations. Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani party’s requirement for the international organizations, states, and political figures to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan grows into a political farce and its declaration of the citizens visiting the NKR «persona non grata» – into a comedy. The position of Azerbaijan is fully deprived of even hints of readiness for any compromise or concessions. This reconfirms the fact that official Baku doesn’t want to resolve the Karabakh issue, trying to shift the blame for the failure onto Armenia,” Atajanian stated.
According to the acting Foreign Minister, it is the full-fledged format of the negotiations, with the NKR’s direct and equal participation that can lead the negotiation process out of the current situation.
“We consider direct negotiations between the NKR and Azerbaijan the most optimal format for achieving a solution to the Karabakh conflict, especially that the Azerbaijani leadership had direct contacts with the NKR till 1997, which is testified by numerous documents signed by the NKR and Azerbaijani officials,”said Atajanian.