Exchange of territories for status unrealistic: David Babayan

Some recent reports in Russian media claim the negotiations on Nagorno Karabakh settlement are going to enter a more intensive stage with a focus on territories and the status of Nagorno Karabakh.

Spokesman for the NKR President David Babayan says the “publications pursue no geopolitical objective.” “The media outlets are thus trying to make a sensation, to publish information of great interest to the society, taking into consideration  the existence of large Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in Russia and the importance of the South Caucasus region.”

“What the Russian press writes about is not new. They just present the Madrid Principles and try to manipulate the issue by discussing unrealistic scenarios,” David Babayan told Public Radio of Armenia.

The Spokesman reminded that “the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries are mediators, not judges; therefore, they cannot impose any decision.”

As for the Madrid Principles, Babayan said “it’s just a working document, where the suggestions of the parties are being taken into consideration. The only issue Azerbaijan is interested in is territories, that’s why they have to make such offers, and the mediators have to include them in the working document. The Armenian side also makes proposals, which the co-chairs take note of. This is not an ultimatum, a final deal,” the Spokesman said.

He reminded the consensus principle, according to which “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

“What final resolution can we talk about, when the war is just over? Today the efforts are focused on maintaining peace and stability,” Babayan said.

Speaking about the exchange of territories for status, the Spokesperson said “it’s not realistic today.” According to him, the two issues are on different levels. “Let’s assume we give territories in return for status. What if Azerbaijan refuses to recognize the status of independent Artsakh? Will we then be able to regain any land?” Babayan said, adding that “there can be no return to the borders of 1988, Karabakh will never be an enclave.”

He stressed that even if Artsakh is granted the status of an independent state, there are no guarantees that Azerbaijan, which glorifies an axe-murderer, tortures 95-year-old civilians and beheads soldiers, will not unleashnew  aggression.”

“Therefore, exchange of territories for status is impossible. There are a number of security, humanitarian, geopolitical issues, which are not easy to solve,” David Babayan concluded.

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