“Only punitive operations will throw Azerbaijan back from the threat of war,” said the Head of the “Modus Vivendi” Center, Ara Papian. During the meeting with the journalists at the “Hayeli” club, referring to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov’s statement that the talks with Armenia are suspended, Mr. Papian commented, “This was just a state of facts. Azerbaijan is to be blamed for this, and let them blame Azerbaijan. We see that the RA authorities, all three, have agreed to big and unjustified concessions, but despite all this, we were unable to convince Azerbaijan to cede something too.” Mr. Papian views the issue of the Karabakh conflict in the domestic political plane.
According to him, all forces come up with the same principle but with certain differences, “The principle is the concession but the perceptions of it are different. By saying concessions, the ANC and RPA understand a handover of seven regions. In this respect, they are on the same plane. Serzh Sargsyan sincerely said that he was in favor of the Kazan document. Being aware of the viewpoint of the ANC, it is obvious that they are identical.” Ara Papian has lost the hope that the parties can reach a mutually acceptable position thru negotiations, “If this hope existed in the nineties, now, I do not see it. I also do not see any sense of concession in this context”.
Readdressing to Mammadyarov’s statement and to the question of whether it contained a threat of the resumption of hostilities, Mr. Papian did not hide the fact that Azerbaijan has repeatedly threatened and will still do, “It does as much as it can. It could not do more in April. In my opinion, if we had acted a little differently, we could have had an accomplishment. The only preventive move that Armenia can do now is the specific punitive actions. When Azerbaijan begins an escalation of military conflict, it surely must know that it will have a human and territorial loss.”
Ara Papian thinks that the current stalemate in the Karabakh conflict is due to the poor governance of our country. In this regard, he stressed that there were times when we were having only 7-8 victims per year, while now, we are having more, for example, because of bad roads for which the state does not bear the responsibility. Referring to the visit of Dmitry Kiselyov and Vladimir Solovyov to Armenia, Mr. Papian emphasized, “Russia notices that its influence in Armenia is weakening and is trying to find scapegoats, blame foreign agents and individuals. This is evidenced by the case of the Ambassador of Armenia.
In my opinion, the one that instigates anti-Russian sentiments, if they are any in Armenia, is Russia. Russia fails to fulfill its ally commitments and simply oppresses Armenia economically. What does it mean to sell the gas on the border to its own subsidiary company with one price, which doubles the price to us? We are paying twice as much from European prices. Some experts believe that if we count the calorific value of the gas, then it is higher than two times.”
Ara Papian is concerned that there is a wrongly formed stereotype associated with the activities of the Russian military base that they have come for good purposes but it is not the case, “I am not against the Russian military base but it must pay all its expenditures for using the territory of Armenia. Someone is installing a kiosk covering 5-10 square meters and pays for it. Why is no land fee charged from Russians? Why should the Russian military base not pay? Is it just for the reason that we also benefit from the activities of the military base? Is the kiosk not beneficial to the country that they are charging money?” Mr. Papyan also noted that the Russian military base is not fulfilling all of its obligations given the fact that an agreement was reached that it should ensure the defense of all borders while we do not see it on the Tavush border.