YEREVAN (Yerkir)-In an interview with Russian Kommersant Daily before he departed on a working visit to Estonia Monday, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian praised Russia’s continued efforts toward resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group. The Foreign Minister also commented on a number of Armenia’s foreign policy issues.
"We see Russia as an ally that keeps on gaining power in the world and we are confident that Russia does interpret us as a stable and reliable ally which enjoys good relations with other states," Oskanian added.
"Earlier we used to think that our economic cooperation with Russia lags behind our political dialogue, Oskanian said. "However, given the steady advance of political dialogue, economic cooperation has been brought to standard," the minister said.
"The volume of Russian investmen’s in the Armenian economy has grown," he added, noting however, that the absence of overland communications makes difficult.
Commenting on recent accusations from Baku that Russian military hardware has been transported from Georgia to Karabakh, Oskanian noted the allegations will not affect the conflict settlement.
"Rumors about transportation of Russian armamen’s to Karabakh are groundless. Azerbaijan’s statemen’s are nothing but propaganda," he added. "It’s noteworthy that the side allegedly concerned over the armament race in the region, violates CFE norms and doesn’t conceal its intention to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with force."
In regards to the current situation playing out in Kosovo, Oskanian explained that Kosovo will not be a precedent for the Karabakh settlement.
"Precedents have certain influence in international relations irrespective of our will. Their reoccurrence becomes the basis of international law as time passes," he said. But irrespective of that, we do not follow the precedents in case of Nagorno-Karabakh."
"All conflicts are unique in their nature, and the resolution of each of them can be individual, especially considering that the talks on Nagorno-Karabakh are held in the framework of the principle of self-determination, he added." It is the right of the people of Karabakh, and it is impossible to turn back the clock of history irrespective of the solutions to other conflicts."
"If the result of the Kosovo issue is not a precedent, then the opposite logic is not acceptable to us, either," Oskanian remarked. "If the international community wants to make the people of Nagorno Karabakh understand that the independence of Kosovo does not envisage automatic independence for Karabakh, it must simultaneously explain to Azerbaijan that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh have the right to self-determination."
"Every conflict must have its individual solution deriving from its peculiarities and the logic of negotiations," added Oskanian.
Commenting on Yerevan’s bilateral relations with Tehran, Oskanian noted that Armenia must have strong relations with Iran because the two countries are not only neighbors but also enjoy deep historic and cultural ties. Oskanian also emphasized that Armenia’s political and economic relations with Iran are essential for the continued security of Armenia.
"No country is worried about the level of Armenian-Iranian relations, since they are transparent and develop within the framework of international commitmen’s, he said. "Over the past years we have had a number of economic projects of strategic importance, among which I would point to the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline," he said.
"Relations with our neighbors are based on the principle of coinciding interests between our partners," he mentioned, adding that Armenia takes into consideration both the interests and concerns of all its allies.