Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan has ruled out any concessions in the Nagorno Karabakh peace process. According to him, the peaceful settlement is possible only through mutual concessions.
“The Armenian side will never assume any approach that oould endanger the security and pose a threat to the people of Artsakh, especially considering that the threat is real,” Minister Mnatsakanyan told a press conference today.
According to the Minister, “the mutual coneession must be proportionate, and should fully reflect the elements of security and status.”
Referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement that the proposal on step-by-step solution to the Karabakh issue is being actively discussed, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said such proposals “unacceptable to the Armenian side” were made in 2014 and 2016, but are not on the table today.
“Since 2018 our discussions have been restricted to the approaches of the sides on separate elements,” the Minister said, adding that in no way will any of the Armenian sides agree to concessions that could jeopardize the security of the people of Artsakh.
As for the “territories” mentioned in Lavrov’s commentary, Minister Mnatsakanyan said “those form a security zone and defensive lines.”
The Minister added that the realization of the right to self-determination is an absolute priority to the Armenian sides in the negotiation process.
“Realization of the right to self-determination means clarification of the status and the right to free expression of will without restrictions,” he stated.
The Foreign Minister also stressed that Armenia is full involved in the negotiation process and will carry its role till the end. He noted, however, that the authorities of the Republic of Armenia have no mandate given by the people of Artsakh.
“Artsakh recently held parliamentary and presidential elections, empowering the authorities with a relevant mandate through a competitive, free and democratic vote. Over the past two years authorities of the of Armenia have been consistently working with the Artsakh side, and the same will be the case with the new authorities,” Zohrab Mnatsakanyan stated.
The Minister made it clear that no decision related to the people of Artsakh can be adopted without the people of Artsakh.