In an interview with Tert.am, a former prime minister of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), Arayik Harutyunyan, commented upon the political situation in the country, its current domestic policy agenda, and the recently proposed program aimed at the resettlement of the liberated regions.
Artsakh resettlement plan 'impossible without extra resources and costs' – Arayik Harutyunyan
STEPANAKERT, OCTOBER 30, ARTSAKHPRESS: The politician said he doesn’t find the plan absolutely feasible in the country's current socio-economic situation. Harutyunyan cited additional costs and expenses which he said the country "cannot presently afford".
“I stated repeatedly – back in the period when I was the prime minister – that the resettlement policy requires considerable resources, whereas the government of Artsakh does not have the necessary means to embark on its full-fledged implementation. And I stick to that opinion also now. That’s of a strategic importance for us, therefore I would call for a more active engagement by Armenians in this process,” he said, stressing the need of a stronger attention especially to infrastructure development and improvement.
Harutyunyan said that he personally knows many Armenians who are willing to move to Artsakh for a permanent settlement.
Asked to comment on German Sterligov’s decision three years ago to settle permanently in the second Armenian republic, and his complaints that the population there is, figuratively speaking, “given the fish instead of being taught how to fish”, Harutyunyan said he only partially agrees with the Russian businessman.
“It has its objective reaspons given the pressing social needs the Artsakh population is still facing. Additionally, Artsakh is deprived of any opportunity to benefit from international humanitarian and investment programs,” the former prime minister noted, Tert.am reports.
Harutyunyan further addressed acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s position on the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict, and Azerbaijan’s recent call for a “closer reading” of the OSCE Mandate (ruling out the country’s participation in the process). He noted that the 1994 ceasefire agreement was signed in a trilateral format necessitating Artsakh’s direct engagement in the peace talks. “It is, by the way, the only legal document - throughout the history of the conflict – that secured specific outcomes for the parties. Later, however, when Artsakh was excluded from the negotiation process, no progress was virtually recorded. And in the recent years, especially after the April 2016 war unleashed by Azerbaijan, we have seen a deepening distrust of that country,” he said.
The politician ruled out the possibility of a breakthrough in the current cirumstances. “Neither the Baku authorities’ behavior, and nor the negotiation format itself, has changed to allow us to expect any progress. In that sense, the statements by the prime minister of Armenia [calling for Artsakh’s return to the negotiating table] were only an attempt to bring the Aliyev regime to the legal domain. Not unexpectedly though, they do not demonstrate any real willingness to settle the conflict. And that’s a good food for thought for not only Armenia but also the international community,” he added.