October 21
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Without the liberated territories, it is impossible to keep the security of Armenia and Artsakh at a proper level on your own. The second President of Armenia and First President of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), Robert Kocharyan, said this at a meeting with analysts, on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict—and posted on the ex-President's official YouTube channel

"We are facing a dilemma, which has always been in the negotiation process. If you announce an end in the negotiation process, this is part of Karabakh, and we do not discuss this topic at all, you say, ‘What else to negotiate, there is no topic to negotiate. Negotiations must stop, and the parties must prepare for war.’ That, too, is a solution, but it has a great risk for the parties, and it is difficult for the representatives of the state to make such a decision. Now I am not in office, I cannot say, now others can say. Different parties can say, and they are right to say because it is a really sensitive topic, and it must be kept in the teeth in order to get the best possible solution. But look, it is a pity that there is no map here. What are those territories? They are simply an integral part of our security.

When that line was being drawn at that time, it was being drawn first of all to ensure our security. At that time, it was not being drawn about ancestral lands, at that time security was important. Now look, it was 28 kilometers from Hadrut region, from Hadrut point to Araks point. Now imagine those southern regions are returned to Azerbaijan. How many kilometers will 28 km turn into? Just imagine on the map. It will come like this, turn around, under Lachin until to Meghri. How many times does it grow? Imagine Kelbajar. Now there is an Omar. A piece of mountain range. Now imagine that Kelbajar suddenly returned, that one piece is replaced․ How long is the contact line? I made such an approximate calculation for myself. You have about 6-8 times more contact line with much more complicated geographical relief. And to ensure the same security on that new line of contact, you have to increase your army 3-4 times. At least the minimum density for soldiers and artillery and other large weapons, at least to ensure the minimum quantity, in times.

This is not complicated or difficult; this is impossible. We do not have that many people. Armenia cannot keep an army of 200,000 with a population of 3 million or less. And I can say unequivocally that without those territories it is impossible to keep the security of Armenia and Karabakh at a proper level by our own forces; and the dilemma is here. So this should be the starting point for us.

Now the question arises: And what if someone guarantees? Now in this changing world of today, for how many years should that guarantee be? One year, 5 years, 50 years? For example, I think it takes at least 50 years, 100 years. The Hong Kong issue was a 100-year contract. You cannot make such decisions on the horizon of 1-5 years.

Now, then, what kind of guarantees should be here for us to believe that all this will not ‘explode’ in 2 years or 5 years, especially, I repeat, in today's world? We saw what the Americans did to the Kurds. We saw Afghanistan when it came out at the time, Afghanistan came out in political events, the Afghan government could not stand it for a week.

Now, for example, I have clear approaches to what can be done, what needs to be done, clear solutions. I do not event want to talk about it because today the people dealing with those issues have something special: they have a talent to spoil everything. Do you know what Armenia's approach is today? Did you understand that? Just take a map and look. There is a special tool on the map, it is a very primitive tool, it measures the kilometer. This is really one of the most difficult parts of resolving this conflict. ‘The dog's head,’ they say, where it is kept, is here," Kocharyan said.

And to the remark that there seems to be information from time to time that the mediators partially accept the 5 + 2 logic, he responded: "How should we accept it? If we were a country of 10-15 million and thought that we can... They should show us and say, how we should ensure the density of our current army on the whole territory. They will say, peacekeeping forces and so on and so forth. In this case, the question immediately comes: With what mandate? How many years should that mandate be, what countries, the political changes of those countries? So many questions arise to negotiate endlessly.

There is a problem here, which is very important in terms of guarantees. Whatever is signed in that negotiation package, Azerbaijan should be deprived of the opportunity to consider attacking Karabakh legal in any way, and the only way to do that is the issue of Karabakh's status.

Or there are 3-4 options, which can also be discussed; but today I will not talk about that topic either, I have that plan, I know what can be done, what should be done. In general, do you know what Armenia's position is on the Karabakh issue? I have a question, I do not know what it is."

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