YEREVAN. – The harsh reality is that any settlement of the Karabakh conflict is going to require the return of some portion “of the occupied territories” although he understands how events like the 2016 April War make this even more difficult for the Armenian people, outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills said in an interview with EVN Report.
According to him, Armenian people will have to decide for themselves what they’re prepared for. However, he added that he had been struck by how little discussion there was about what would have been or is an acceptable solution and compromise.
He went on to note that the status quo is no longer in Armenia’s favor - from closed borders to the strain on the country’s material and human resources to corruption risks associated with the conflict.
Richard Mills agrees with Armenian Prime Minister that the OSCE Minsk Group “remains the best game in town” to resolve the Karabakh conflict but says that the Minsk process was not put into place to be a referee in the conflict.
“It was not set up to call balls and strikes, to say you just violated the line of contact, you just said a bad thing, it never was and I know that’s frustrating to many people, they want it to do that, so do the Azeris, but it wasn’t designed to do that; it was designed to conduct negotiations and talks,” he explained. “If you want it to call balls and strikes, you have to give that to the Minsk Group in its charter and authority or you have to give it to something else.” Mills thinks if that were to happen, then the Minsk Group would lose its ability to be a neutral player.