Peace cannot be achieved through unilateral actions of Armenia, real peace is possible if Azerbaijan reciprocates Armenia’s efforts, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the BBC HARDTalk‘s Stephen Sackur.
“After becoming Prime Minister I proposed a new formula for for peace: any solution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be acceptable to the people of Armenia, the people of Nagorno Karabakh and the people of Azerbaijan. I’m the first Armenian leader ever to tell that the solution should be acceptable to Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani President did not reciprocate my proposal,” PM Pashinyan said.
He stressed that it was Azerbaijan to start attacks against Armenia.
“For a long time Azerbaijan’s President has been developing a bellicose rhetoric, saying he will solve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict using military force. As a result of that bellicose rhetoric, the Azerbaijani government is facing the challenge to explain to its own society why it fails to solve the conflict through force,” Pashinyan stated.
Responding to Stephen Sackur’s remarks that his statement on “Artsakh is Armenia. Period” was provocative and nationalistic, the Prime Minister said: “For thousands of years Artsakh has been populated by indigenous Armenian people.”
“The reality is that at the time the conflict started, 80-90% of the population was Armenian, and Azerbaijan tried to cleanse the land of Armenians. And the conflict started from this moment,” he stressed.
He added that “the Armenian position is not nationalistic, because “Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh are under existential threat.”
“What we are proposing to Azerbaijan is to renounce any possibility of use of force. We should agree on a very simple formula: there is no military solution to the Nagrono Karabakh conflict,” Pashinyan stated.
Asked which way he’s gong to take the country, given that Armenia is in a tough neighborhood, the Prime Minister said: “Russia is our strategic partner in terms of security. We are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, and we have Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the Eu, and the latter is our main partner in our reforms agenda.”
At the same time, he said, we have good cooperation with NATO and participate in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Kosovo.
“We also have good relations with Iran and we are doing our best to keep our good relationship with the United States. We are fully devoted to our international commitments,” PM Pashinyan stated.