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The policy of Armenia’s authorities of today in the Karabakh issue is the continuation of ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s policy which is the following: We will not live well until we surrender Karabakh. Lieutenant General Vitali Balasanyan stated this at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s plan was to give Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)] broad autonomy within Azerbaijan,” the general said. “He hasn’t given up on that plan.”

According to Balasanyan, there is no such vision which Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan speaks about.

“The thing that he says he has handed new documents to the Artsakh authorities, maybe they are old documents; he hasn’t handed a new document,” Balasanyan said. “Today the Armenia-Russia diplomatic channel is crushed, the Armenia-Iran diplomatic channel is crushed. All Armenians are aware of what negotiations Nikol Pashinyan is conducting in the US. He meets with [Congressman] Adam Schiff, who is the person behind the impeachment process for the US president. Is this the policy run by Pashinyan?”

Balasanyan expressed the confidence that Artsakh will always be Armenian, with its present-day territory at the least

“Artsakh will never be a province of the Republic of Armenia for the time being,” he added. “Second, when Artsakh is internationally recognized with the present-day borders at minimum, Artsakh is the property of all Armenians with its population. (...). Today Artsakh has a territory of 12,000 square meters, a population of 150,000, has a Constitution, state institutions, and Artsakh is the second Armenian state.”

To the remark that Pashinyan stated that Artsakh’s subjectivity should be raised in order for it to become a full party to the negotiations Vitali Balasanyan responded as follows: “With Nikol Pashinyan coming to power, we saw individuals, groups, [political] parties from time to time were voicing that Artsakh is a province of Armenia. And on August 5, Nikol Pashinyan declared, “Artsakh is Armenia—period.’ In doing so he probably wanted to say that ‘I’m your general leader.’ Nikol Pashinyan is sadly mistaken. That’s not a norm in politics; that’s dangerous. He did that intentionally.

“I’m convinced that the policy run by Nikol Pashinyan is Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s package. There is no need to abandon the package that existed before he came to power. Now Pashinyan has come and says there will be a new vision; that is, this 22-year work of the [OSCE] Minsk Group is disappearing. We saw the statement of the Azerbaijani president, [Russian FM Sergey] Lavrov’s statement, various statements from outside, all of which have responded negatively to that statement by Nikol Pashinyan. Authorities of the Republic of Armenia should return and quickly correct the mistakes that they have made in the past 1.5 years.”

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