Serzh Sargsyan: Karabakh peace remains a priority for Armenia and Artsakh

The peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict remains a priority for Armenia and Artsakh, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at the annual meeting of the senior leadership of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia.

President Sargsyan voiced regret over the lack of progress in the negotiations, but added: “One thing is clear – we will continue the negotiations and our contacts with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, since they have been authorized by the international community to mediate between parties and contribute to the elaboration of a peace accord.”

However, he said, “the primary responsibility is on the conflicting parties, and we have always realized our part in that work.”

“This is why our army has been and will remain the main factor in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Under the conditions of constant threats from Baku, the Armed Forces are our main pillar. The military actions of April 2016 were a major attempt by the rival to test the balance of forces, which they definitely failed,” Serzh Sargsyan said.

The President said “in the current situation we have to maintain the configuration of positions and consistently work to be ready to resist any attempt by the rival to distort the balance of forces.”

“We have repeatedly made it clear and if necessary we’ll reiterate once again that the military solution to the Karabakh conflict lacks perspective,” President Sargsyan said.

The President noted that one of the main practical steps should be the successful implementation of the seven-year program of the Armed Forces’s modernization.

Serzh Sargsyan noted that the purchase of armaments and military equipment proceeds in line with the plan. “Our main ally and partner here is the Russian Federation – one of the world’s largest suppliers of weapons, which we have concrete agreements with. Of course, we use other opportunities, as well, taking into consideration our perspectives of cooperation with different countries. In the arms race we are not pursuing the policy of responding to quantity with quantity; instead, we lay the emphasis on the effectiveness of the armament.”

“We possess the means necessary to restrain the rival any moment. When we speak about restraining, we do not mean preventing the attacks. It means counterstrikes that will deprive them of the wish to violate the commitments and provisions of the ceasefire agreement signed in 1994-1995,” President Sargsyan stated.

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