YEREVAN (Arka)—“Armenia will retaliate heavily if Azerbaijan dares another adventure in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone,” Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiya-24 television station.
“We believe that the principles and elements contained in the six statements made by the heads of the US, France and Russia — the countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group — and the document used as a basis for us and Azerbaijan to continue the talks, are acceptable for settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Sarkisian said.
According to the President, the consensus of the Minsk Group co-chairs is that these principles and elements make one whole and that no one principle must prevail over the others.
“Of course, we share the view of the co-chairs that people need to be prepared for peace not war, but, unfortunately, the Azerbaijani leadership does the contrary,” Sarkisian said.
He said neither international peace brokers nor officials dealing with the conflict doubt that the tension is to be blamed on Azerbaijan. Sarkisian stressed that the Azerbaijani leadership does not even hide their intentions, having said at the Munich Security Conference that tensions will continue mounting as long as Armenians do not surrender the regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh.
Sarkisian reminded that the Karabakh army was forced to create a security zone for the population to escape daily shelling by Azerbaijani troops.
“The government of Azerbaijan does not care about the principles and elements offered by the co-chairs for seeking a solution to the conflict,” the President said.
Sarkisian also discussed Armenia’s membership in the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union, which Armenia officially joined in January of this year.
“The outlook is promising, otherwise we would not have made such a decision,” the President said. According to Sarkisian, becoming part of the 170-million-strong market is a good achievement for a small country like Armenia. Sarkisian asserted that the EEU operates based on universal, transparent and civilized rules that will help increase prosperity in the country.
Progress can be made if all parties do their best, and if there is mutual trust and respect for sovereignty, the President said.
“I am convinced Armenia has made the right choice, and, I am sure, there would be many more difficulties in any other circumstances,” Armenia’s president said. Even without EEU membership, the problems in the Russian economy would affect the economic situation in Armenia, he said.