Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan has spoken about his fault in the situation and analyzed whether the war could have been prevented.
“When I came into office in 2018 and familiarized with the state of negotiations on the Karabakh conflict settlement, I should have actually come and said that we had an option to return five territories without clarification of the status of Nagorno Karabakh or we go into war,” Pashinyan said, speaking live on Facebook.
The Prime Minister said he tried to change the logic of negotiations but did not succeed. “Why? Because the issue of return of those five territories had been the only substantive thesis in the negotiations that left no room for misreading.”
“Had I presented the option, no one would agree to that. If I were you, I wouldn’t agree either. Besides, I think had the war started earlier, the results would have been worse due to a number of objective and subjective reasons,” Pashinyan said.
Then, the Prime Minister added, when there were signs of war before it started, he once again had the option to come and say that “we either return the five territories or go into war.”
“I didn’t say because I didn’t want us to surrender in that way. I believed that we would be able to struggle for our rights, for the rights of the people of Artsakh. And I continue to believe now. Besides, had I outlined the options in early September, what would the Armenian society say?” the Prime Minister asked.
“The Armenian society would say ‘no, we will go and fight and defend the rights of our people.’ It’s obvious. And we would still get a war as a result,” he stated.
“Second, why we didn’t try to prevent the further development of war on the second, third or sixth day. First, in the initial phase the war was rather successful for the Armenian side. Second, the condition to prevent the war was still the same – the return of five territories without clarification of the status of Nagorno Karabakh and without clear mechanisms for it,” he added.
“Why I didn’t say that? Because I believed we could still struggle and was trying to do my best for that. And had I come and said, the Armenian society would still not agree to return the five territories for peace,” Pashinyan said.
He added, that after at a certain stage of war the question would be about seven territories. The Prime Minister added that no such decision was made in any of those stages “because of the simple reason that we wanted to make a breakthrough.”
According to him, the painful decision was made when it became obvious that we had no chance to break the course of the war. “Our task was to avoid the worst.”
“Actually, when we look at the situation today, we say that had we agreed to the formula of returning the five territories, we would have a better situation. And that’s true. But who in Armenia would believe it was the right path? Very few people. I would not believe, either. We would thus concede something without any struggle. The more I analyze, the more I see my mistakes in this domain,” Nikol Pashinyan stated.
He said he was ready to bear his part of responsibility for the situation irrespective of any circumstances.
“But when I look back, I see the solutions were impossible for you and me. The fact is that we and our army fought to the end in this war,” the Prime Minister said.
Video Translation by The Armenian Report
H/T Public Radio of Armenia