Head of the Central Information Department of the Office of the Artsakh Republic President – deputy head of the Artsakh Republic President’s Office, David Babayan said in an interview with Armenian News-NEWS.am.
Involvement of Nagorno-Karabakh in negotiation process was the recent number one issue. What are the official Stepanakert approaches in this regard?
The approaches of the official Stepanakert in this matter remain unchanged. It is impossible to achieve a final and comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict without the participation of the Republic of Artsakh at all stages of the negotiation process. If we do not restore a full-fledged negotiation format, then the only result of the peace process can only be the maintenance of stability and peace in a strategically important Transcaucasian region.
Recently, the idea of a certain revision or reassessment of the principles of settlement and well-known elements has been increasingly voiced. What is this about?
I do not think that the fundamental principles of the settlement can be revised. Fundamental elements such as the peaceful settlement, the right of people to self-determination and recognition of the fact of such self-determination, the territorial integrity of the state will always remain the fundamental components of the settlement process. But the parties to the conflict have a diametrically opposed vision of these principles.
Can it be considered that the positions of the Armenian sides began to diverge from the positions of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on the holistic approach towards the three principles and the right of peoples to self-determination?
The Minsk Group co-chairs have repeatedly stated that they are not judges. They are mediators in resolving the most complicated conflict. Therefore, the main direction of their activities is to contribute to bringing the parties together, as well as to contribute to maintaining stability and security in the region. As I have already said, Azerbaijan has diametrically opposed positions on the one hand, Artsakh and Armenia on the other.
What do you think about handing over the liberated territories? Will such a scenario launch a new aggression?
There can be no return to the past, neither in the matter of borders, nor status. Moreover, I am deeply convinced that security is a key component for Karabakh.Even internationally recognized status of an independent state, cannot ensure our security. The last decades have revealed a number of such precedents.
Consequently, the future of our people and its statehood, both in Artsakh and in the Republic of Armenia, will be very deceptive without the proper level of security, which will be ensured by our own efforts. One of the main aspects in this context is the borders of Artsakh.
You vividly show the results of Baku’s policy of pressure on Karabakh in your “Hydropolitics of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh Conflict” book. In your opinion, what could be the consequences if the sources of the rivers feeding Armenia and Karabakh are in the hands of the adversary?
This is one of the most vivid examples of what may happen to Artsakh and Armenia if the security system of our country is weakened. Azerbaijan, of course, will immediately begin to exert pressure, while not disdaining the most inhuman methods, such as hydroterrorism. Azerbaijan resorted to such methods many times, that we have not forgotten and should never forget.
Do you think that Armenian sides pay enough attention to the occupation of Karabakh territories by Azerbaijan?
We constantly raise these issues when we meet with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and at various international platforms. Although, I think that it is necessary to pay more attention to this issue in the internal media space, public, scientific and analytical circles.
A little about domestic policy in Artsakh. Recently you have created Conservative party of Artsakh in the 2020 parliamentary elections. How do you see the work in the legislature before the elections and after?
Naturally, rather big and laborious, as well as very responsible and interesting work should be done. We have the will, energy, willingness to work in this direction.
What are the main social problems of Artsakh? And how to solve them?
Problems are a very dynamic phenomenon. They are, were, will always be in any country and society.Moreover, the solution of one issue also creates new problems and the need to find ways to solve them.
The formula for effectively solving any, even the most complex problems, consists of a number of components, where the key role are played by professionalism, honesty, decency, a compassionate attitude towards the country and the people, as well as optimism and unshakable will.