January 25
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On October 20, the second and third presidents of Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)], Arkadi Ghukasyan and Bako Sahakyan, proposed to arrange a meeting of the current and former leaders of Armenia and Artsakh, which would be an expression of national unity during the days of the [recent Artsakh] war, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on Facebook Monday morning.

"After some discussion, I agreed. We agreed that when they signal that the retired presidents of Armenia are ready, I will arrange the meeting.

Arkadi Ghukasyan and Bako Sahakyan said at our next meeting that a subtlety was added to the idea: [Armenia’s First President] Levon Ter-Petrosyan and [Artsakh’s First and Armenia’s second President] Robert Kocharyan want to go to Moscow, have high-level meetings there, and our meeting will be organized after their return and will become a kind of information coordination, an event of more informed discussion of the situation.

I said that I was not against the idea, I would even provide the state plane, let them leave, have meetings, return. The retired presidents of Artsakh, however, raised another issue after my consent. They said that it was necessary for me to mediate with RF [Russian Federation] President Vladimir Putin so that he would receive L. Ter-Petrosyan and R. Kocharyan as special envoys.

I responded as follows: I am in constant contact with the President of Russia. There are days I talk to him on the phone five or six times. Now if he asks me, what do you have to say that you cannot tell me directly and you want to say it through special envoys, what should I answer?

The same question arose also in the case of [Russian] Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, when the retired presidents of Artsakh said that our Foreign Minister also mediate to Lavrov that he receive our special envoys. Our Foreign Minister is in constant contact with the RF Foreign Minister; their meeting is scheduled in Moscow. If Lavrov asks our Foreign Minister the same question, what should he answer?

I offered another option: To quickly arrange Ter-Petrosyan and Kocharyan’s ceremonial visit to Moscow as retired presidents, where they will be the guest of retired RF President Dmitry Medvedev, who is also the deputy chairman of the RF SC Security Council, and to try—within the framework of the visit—to arrange courteous meetings with the RF President, Foreign Minister, and other high-ranking officials.

Arkadi Ghukasyan and Bako Sahakyan left, promising to discuss this option with Ter-Petrosyan and Kocharyan. It turned out that the option I suggested is not very interesting for the latter. Bako Sahakyan, unexpected for me, announced to me that Ter-Petrosyan and Kocharyan have an agreement to meet with Sergey Lavrov.

In that case, what do they want from me? If they have an arrangement, let them go to Moscow, meet. It turned out that the issue is R. Kocharyan's passport, which is in court. I said let them submit a petition to the court, I will ask that the prosecution does not to object to the return of the passport. That's what happened; the court returned Kocharyan's passport, but Ter-Petrosyan and Kocharyan did not head for Moscow," Pashinyan added.

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