“The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have no doubt as to which party is responsible for tension at the Line of contact,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with R-Evolution program of Armenia TV.
He added, however, that “the Minsk Group is not almighty in a certain sense. “Any of the co-chairing countries is able to impose anything on Azerbaijan if it stems from its own interests. But it’s hard to imagine Russia, France and the United States imposing their opinion on Azerbaijan,” he added.
According to President Sargsyan, “compulsion is not always the best option, that’s why the Co-Chairs oft for persuasion rather than harsh compulsion.”
President Sargsyan reiterated Armenia’s demand to create an investigation mechanism at the line of contact – a measure that had been agreed at Vienna and St. Petersburg summits.
“It’s not only meant to reveal the party violating the ceasefire, but also investigate which officer or which soldier violated the ceasefire regime,” the President said.
Serzh Sargsyan added that the mechanism has not been implemented for the simple reason that Baku stands against it. “The refusal clearly indicates that they are the author of tension.”
The President said “there has been no change in Armenia’s principled stance after the four-day war in April 2016.” He voiced confidence that there has not been any change in Azerbaijan’s position, either.”
“The April war simply showed that Azerbaijan refuses from solving the conflict on the basis of Madrid Principles,” he said.
As for concessions, the President said “we have never spoken about any concessions over the past twenty years. We have always spoken and keep insisting on the resolution of the issue on the basis of mutual concessions.”
President Sargsyan is confident that “the Armenian side will never think about easing the situation through unilateral concessions even if the settlement of the conflict drags out for another 20 years.”
He said the targets of the Armenian side are obvious – realization of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic people’s right to self-determination, land border between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, reliable security guarantees for the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.