For many years, for about two decades, we were talking about water security, the importance of the Karvachar region as a “hydro donor” to the Artsakh Republic and the Republic of Armenia, that without that region, the safe progressive development of the two republics will be under serious threat. Now we actually see that everything we were saying is becoming a reality. The statement came from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Foreign Minister David Babayan, commenting, at the request of Armenian News-NEWS.am, on the current problems of water security in Armenia and Artsakh due to the fact that the Karvachar region has passed under the control of Azerbaijan.
"Azerbaijan, together with Turkey, conducts a corresponding policy in this sphere. For now, we can talk about ‘hydro pressure.’ In the future, they may pass to ‘hydro terrorism’ and other forms. For example, simple works that do not have such important consequences will be presented in such a way as to ‘cause fear in us.’ This is exactly what happened in connection with the works on the Tartar river. It is clear that changing the course of a river is a very expensive project, a huge one. The river itself is large, with an average annual flow of more than 700 million cubic meters. That is why it is difficult to change the direction of the course in a few days. It is necessary to do a huge job.
Besides, flowing through the Martakert region, Tartar re-enters the border of present-day Azerbaijan. Therefore, if they change course, this will also reflect on the regions of Azerbaijan bordering on Artsakh.
‘Hydro terrorism’ against Armenia is especially dangerous because the Arpa and Vorotan rivers start in Karvachar; and not only the big rivers, but also the small rivers. Arpa and Vorotan are extremely important for Armenia; they feed and save Lake Sevan, and it is 80 percent of Armenia's water resources.
We now see that Azerbaijan is very actively engaged in ‘hydro policy,’ and it will use this factor as a weighty lever to put pressure on Armenia and Artsakh. Now we are very vulnerable, Armenia and Artsakh have become one of the most vulnerable countries in the world in terms of water security, albeit a year ago the situation was quite the opposite.
What should we do? Now it is very important that we work closely with our allies, particularly Russia, to at least achieve the presence of either Russian peacekeepers or some international observers in the regions where the Arpa and Vorotan rivers originate, in order not to permit the poisoning of those arteries by Azerbaijan. Our people simply have no other option not to permit the 'blue genocide,'" David Babayan stressed, in particular.