Tevan Poghosyan: We have been waiting for 70 years to return Karabakh

Yerevan / 12.02.19 / Turan: The political changes that have taken place in Armenia lately were in line with the spirit and desires of the Armenian nation to be a democratic country. Armenia maintains obligations under international agreements and documents that it has signed. The adviser to the President of Armenia Tevan Poghosyan said this in an interview with Turan, answering the question of how Yerevan"s foreign policy changed after the change of power in the country after the velvet revolution.

"There could be no sharp turns in foreign policy. Nikol Pashinyan himself, while still not completely appointed to the post of prime minister, has repeatedly stated that continuity will continue and there will be no drastic changes in foreign policy," noted Pogosyan. The biggest task of the authorities today is the fulfillment of the obligations that were given to voters. The same task is facing those parties that have been elected to parliament and will have to prove that they are able to implement their electoral programs.

How can we explain the obvious lurch towards the West by the new government of Armenia and the criticism of the opposition and a number of experts, that rapprochement with the West and simultaneous removal from Russia is dangerous and Moscow can punish Armenia for this? Answering this question, Pogosyan said that such allegations are unfounded. "The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that the new government will remain committed to strengthening the Armenian-Russian relations. We are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EurAsEC) and the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO), and will strengthen our positions there. Nobody is going to refuse it.

However, at the same time, we have signed an agreement on comprehensive cooperation with the European Union, and Armenia will reform its management system and carry out reforms.

We are the only member of the CSTO, which has a partnership agreement with NATO (IPAP) and we will maintain these contacts and cooperate in two directions," the adviser said.

Will Armenia sign the Association Agreement with the European Union? Pogosyan responded, "This question is not discussed today".

This agreement provides not only political issues, but also a "deep trade and economic component" (DCFTA), but Armenia has already chosen Eurasia. Therefore, if there are changes in the Associative Document, then perhaps in the future, Armenia will show interest, the counselor believes.

Ex-President of Armenia Robert Kocharian openly says that Pashinyan"s policy is unacceptable, it spoils relations with Russia and Armenia will be punished for this.

Similar assessments are heard at various levels from Moscow. There is an opinion that the increase in gas prices for Armenia, the not entirely correct behavior of the Russian military, who arranged military equipment on the territory of the Armenian village and caused panic, is regarded as a manifestation of this discontent of Russia. How justified are such estimates?

According to the counselor, similar incidents happened before with other authorities as well. "We must take measures so that they do not happen again and no one thought that it will be unpunished."

When Nikol Pashinyan came to power, people did not know him, for many he was unpredictable. However, over time, pursuing a specific policy, the new government looks different, and it is clear that the Armenian leader keeps his word and in all countries realize that he is predictable and Armenia is moving in the "right direction".

"We must pursue our interests and when everyone sees this, when doubts leave, then there will be respect and allied relations between Armenia and Russia," the adviser to the head of Armenia makes an interesting conclusion. That is, the struggle for the "interests of Armenia" is not a greeting to the repetition of the fate of Georgia and Ukraine.

"History has taught us many lessons in order not to repeat mistakes. We will follow our interests, trying to be predictable, honestly talking everything with our allies," says Poghosyan.

Armenia is heavily dependent on Russia economically, which owns almost the entire infrastructure of Armenia. What will be the concept of economic development of the country under the new government?

The adviser replies to this that in the near future the government will submit its economic concept to the parliament. "I am sure that there will be a lot of interesting offers. One of the areas will be the information technology sector, tourism, education, trade with the countries of Eurasia, Iran and Georgia, investments from the Armenian diaspora, the development of medium and small businesses, and agriculture.

In the current situation, Armenia is becoming attractive for investments in the area of its openness and all doubts will disappear. With the right policy, we can become a bridge between the European market and the Eurasian market," said Poghosyan. Today, Armenia"s foreign debt is about 6 billion dollars, the population has fallen to 2 million people (and by some estimates it is even less), social tension in the society is growing against the background of a low standard of living. Is all this is the result of poor governance or an objective outcome, because of the conflict with Azerbaijan?

On this question, the presidential adviser said that there is a crisis all over the world in Turkey and Azerbaijan, Iran and the CIS countries, Europe and America.

"The external debt of Armenia is not so big; there are countries where there is a terrible debt at all.

Of course, the blockade on the part of Turkey and Azerbaijan is having an effect. There are, of course, subjective and objective reasons for the current situation. We hope that the new government program and the fight against corruption and the national spirit will help to overcome many problems. As for demography, over the past 9 months, the trend has changed in the direction of increasing the number of arrivals, and not those who have departed from the country,"the adviser said optimistically.

When asked how he sees the settlement of the conflict with Azerbaijan, Pogosyan said that Azerbaijan should sit at the negotiating table with Armenia and Karabakh. "Although, I am sure that Baku, Yerevan and Karabakh will now stand firm and all have a long way to go to hear each other. This may be 10 and 100 years, but this is the only way. If you choose war, there will be war, choose peace - there will be peace." Where is the red line for the Armenians, from which they will not refuse and will not retreat? To this question, the presidential adviser answered: "There can be no concessions on the issue of security and recognition of the status that guarantees the security of the Armenians of Karabakh.

In general, until we understand that we just need to communicate, the red line is everywhere. "

How is the settlement formula perceived in Armenia - territories in exchange for status?

The presidential adviser gave a negative answer to this. According to him, it would be possible to talk about this after the conclusion of a truce in 1994. "Then the answer would be completely different."

According to him, the Armenian side will not go to the liberation of the territories around Karabakh in order to ensure its security - in order to prevent the front line from approaching Karabakh itself.

"If you convince the Karabakh people that you are not going to attack, then it may be possible to agree. It is possible that the efforts of two or three generations will go to this," Pogosyan said.

To the question, whether he excludes that in the event of a new war, the Armenian side may lose not only the territories around Karabakh, but also Karabakh itself, the presidential adviser says that nothing can be ruled out. "But the losses will not only be with us and the process will not stop there. How much can you hold some territory? We have been waiting for 70 years to regain Karabakh.

We will have to wait. I, my son, my grandson will return these territories. In any case, I will teach them this," the adviser to the President of Armenia concludes the conversation. -02B-

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