Public Radio of Armenia
“Mutual concessions are acceptable to us, but the unilateral concessions in return for uncertainty are not,” Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan said at the meeting with the faculty and staff of the Armenian State University of Economics.
“By inciting border provocations Azerbaijan tried to influence the negotiation process on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict,” the Defense Minister noted. “It was a test for our armed forces, which they successfully passed,” he added.
Minister Ohanyan said “the Armenian side stands for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.” “The people of Artsakh have realized their right to self-determination on their historic lands, and there is no alternative to this,” he stated.
Reminding that Armenia has once managed to protect its borders in an imposed war, the Minister added: “The rival is trying to exert pressure for a second time and grab concessions. Mutual agreements are acceptable to us, but the unilateral concessions in return for uncertainty are not.”
“With belligerent rhetoric and ceasefire violations Azerbaijan is trying to demonstrate its power and thus affect the negotiation process. This was the purpose behind the escalation of tension in July-August of the current year,” Minister Ohanyan said, adding that “the intension failed because of the bravery and devotion of the Armenian soldiers.”
As for the possible support of the CSTO forces in case of necessity, the Minister first reminded that “Armenia is an active member of the CSTO. It has come forth with a number of initiatives, has actively participated in the development of peacekeeping and air-defense forces.” He added that “according to the CSTO statute, in case the member states apply for assistance, the others have to provide it. This regulation is in force.”
Speaking about Armenia’s cooperation with NATO, Minister Ohanyan said “it helps raise the level of defense reforms.” “Our cooperation develops in the field of education, military medicine, peacekeeping, humanitarian de-mining and a number of other directions,” he said, adding that “both organizations show understanding towards us and our problems.”