Serzh Sargsyan: It’s up to the people of Karabakh to determine their future status

“It’s up to the people of Karabakh to decide with which political status they will live in the future,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with Russian Kommersant. “This is a classical example of struggle for self-determination, and there is no argument to explain why the people of Artsakh should be denied this right,” he said, speaking about the perspectives of settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

According to President Sargsyan, it’s important to reinforce the international mechanisms of effective arms control in the region. “Being a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Azerbaijan actually started an arms race, and is openly violating the principles of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE),” the President said.

“We continue the negotiations with Azerbaijan. However, it’s unreal to expect any breakthrough under these conditions. Everyone working on this issue in Moscow, Washington and Paris is well aware who’s fault it is that no solution has been found so far. They remember who frustrated the talks in Key West and Kazan. They also know that the core of the issue is not in the control of the seven territories surrounding Nagorno Karabakh, therefore the solution does not depend on their return,” Serzh Sargsyan said.

Speaking about Russia’s role in preventing the outburst of the conflict, President Sargsyan said: “Russia is an important mediator in this conflict together with France and the United States. Only thanks to Russia’s mediation we managed to sign a ceasefire in 1994. We connected great hopes with the Russian high-level mediation in the recent period. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan torpedoed the process.”

“Breaking of the blockade would be a great progress, first of all from the economic point of view,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said, speaking about the possibility of opening of the Abkhazian railway.

“Many of our goods are simply uncompetitive now because of the impossibility of transportation to the expensiveness of shipment,” the President said.

As for the relations with Iran, Serzh Sargsyan said “we continue working out new joint projects, particularly, in the field of hydro energy.” “We are building a new international highway that will connect Armenia to Iran. The railway project will be next.”

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