The topic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) is completely absent in the negotiation processes. Second President Robert Kocharyan of Armenia told this to a press conference Wednesday.
"Unfortunately, all my concerns, which I had voiced in this very hall during our previous meeting, seem to be coming true. The [Armenian] authorities are just not taking any steps to correct the situation in that regard.
In my impression, the topic of Artsakh is completely absent in the negotiation processes—and not only in Brussels. We are talking about the normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations.
The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict was over Artsakh. I have no idea how these relations can be normalized without certainty and a shared vision regarding the settlement of the Karabakh problem. Therefore, if there is progress here, then it can be concluded that there is an agreement on the Karabakh issue—either with silence or without silence," said Kocharyan.
According to him, the fact that the Republic of Artsakh, self-determination, and sovereignty have completely disappeared from the vocabulary of Armenia’s officials indicates that we have a serious problem here.
"Azerbaijan says that ‘the Karabakh issue is settled, we have nothing to talk about Karabakh with you.’ As far as I know, Armenia does not fight against that approach. In fact, if this continues, the future negotiation process will be in the following format: Baku, Stepanakert, and to some extent Moscow. I will suggest that our analysts and journalists assess what consequences this format will have.
The [Armenian] authorities have somehow adapted to this situation. Of course in their statements they talk about self-determination, sovereignty, republic, but in other conversations the topic is a little different. The way of self-justification is as follows: ‘What should we do now? Armenia has washed its hands [of Artsakh], we shall find a way out to keep the people here, and it is not possible to do this without cooperation with Azerbaijan.’
Recently, the government of Karabakh has also been doing this with great diligence. Dependence on Baku has only increased during this period," he said.
According to Kocharyan, the fact that a natural gas pipeline was not built along with the new road between Armenia and Artsakh, the power poles were not moved, and the communication cable remained on the old road, creates such a dependency that Azerbaijan can create a desperate situation for the people of Karabakh at any time, whenever it wants.
"And for the authorities of Karabakh, this will be another explanation of why it is necessary to cooperate with Azerbaijan.
The biggest danger is the disassembling of Karabakh's state institutions. I believe they will try to go for it as well. I find it hard to say now what path they will choose technically. According to my impression, the next step will be in this direction, and the people of Karabakh, the authorities of Karabakh—with the support of Armenia—should fight against this first of all.
According to all polls, 95 percent of our people do not picture Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, but they still do not fight against it. Either they are not sincere in their answers during those surveys, or they still believe in the assurances of the [Armenian] authorities," emphasized the second president of Armenia.