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May 22
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The primary beneficiaries of peace are Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this in an interview with several members of the UK media

"And this theoretical premise, which is of course very theoretical, could step by step be manifested in more substantive terms. In the last 5 month we have achieved two major agreements with Azerbaijan. Eventually, the peoples of Armenia and Azerbaijan are keen on peace.

Of course, the investors and broader economic stability are interested in peace, but we are the primary beneficiaries of peace. So a number of statements coming from Azerbaijan regarding the reforms of Armenia's army and modernization are alarming us. You are right pointing out that there is a strong misbalance between the military budgets of Azerbaijan and Armenia and that is also the results of the deals you referred to that generates income for Azerbaijan, but what we are worried about is that even with this misbalance, Azerbaijan is responding very aggressively to the reforms of Armenia's armed forces and to the acquisition of arms and equipments, although everyone understands that these acquisitions are of solely defensive nature," said Pashinyan.

He reiterated his earlier point that no country can challenge the right of another country to have a combat ready army.

“I think having a strong army is sometimes used for war, but having such an army is also important for peace, for balancing the powers. That's also the reason why when Azerbaijan raises those questions, referring particularly to Armenia's acquisition of weapons, which is not more than 15-20% of Azerbaijan's acquisitions in terms of cost and volume, and our acquisitions are mostly of defensive nature, we respond to those statements.

We invited Azerbaijan to introduce a bilateral arms control mechanism, so that we can mutually agree upon a way to avoid provoking arms race in our region.

We proposed and we continue to propose simultaneous withdrawal of troops from the border declared on the bases of the 1991 Alma-Ata declaration. That proposal still stands. We also invited to sign a non-aggression pact before even any peace agreement. A pact on non-aggression is a much simpler one, and now, when the 1991 Alma-Ata declaration is being used as the bases for the delimitation process, we can sign a simple paper promising that we will not attack each other on the bases that we have recognized each other's territorial integrity and do not have territorial claim from each other," the Armenian PM emphasized.

Therefore, I think we should continue our work with this logic. The agreement reached last Friday between the Delimitation commissions of the two countries could contribute to stability," Pashinyan added.

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