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REGION AND THE REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH: EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ISSUES
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REGION AND THE REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH: EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ISSUES

The interview of Azat Artsakh newspaper with the Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Lecturer of the Artsakh State University, Head of the South Caucasus Region Branch of the Caucasus Studies Center at MMU, Nelly Bagdasaryan.

-What foreign policy developments have we had around the Republic of Artsakh lately?
- If we try to assess the foreign policy developments around the Republic of Artsakh, at present we can say that the processes taking place in the region, with their possible consequences, can increase the geopolitical significance of the Artsakh Republic, and we need to be prepared for that. There is an increasingly tense situation in the region between Iran-US and Iran-Great Britain. Of course there are no reasonable grounds to say that tensions can lead to large-scale military operations because among the restraining reasons is the fact of being on the threshold of the US presidential elections. However, such levels of tension usually dictate the relaunching of objects of regional interest. Accordingly, it is enough to say that especially in the last month, the interests of the US towards Armenia have been gaining momentum, and in the case of the Republic of Artsakh, these tendencies may have a direct justification, as determined by the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group. It is noteworthy that in recent developments American policy has had some emphasis in this regard: as a co-chair state of the OSCE Minsk Group, the functions of the co-chairmanship of the US House of Representatives have been given a legislative level. In this sense, an important suggestion should be considered the statement made by US Congressman Frank Pallone, on the need to lifting the ban for US officials on visiting Artsakh. This is greatly appreciated and can serve as a basis for the lifting of the international blockade around the Republic of Artsakh. Also, the addition of the US congresswoman Judy Chu was of great importance, in particular, withdrawal of snipers, heavy equipment and new weapons from the contact line, the expansion of the staff of the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the implementation of firing systems at the contact line. Another amendment to the same law was authored by Congressman Brad Sherman, according to which the transfer of US military defense equipment to Azerbaijan, which can be used to attack Stepanakert's civil aviation, will be blocked.
As for the amount of disproportionate military aid to Azerbaijan and Armenia, this is a subject of extensive debate.
- You have mentioned that the geopolitical significance of the Republic of Artsakh can essentially change. And the Republic of Artsakh is on the verge of very responsible realities - the simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. How the political forces preparing for the electoral process and the signature petition organized to amend the Constitution can affect the international reputation of the Republic of Artsakh?
- We have an unprecedented situation: a signature petition based on a public initiative to prepare for the electoral process. The Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh provides for such public opportunity, as well as procedures at the legislative, executive, and judicial levels, and therefore any such process must be resolved within the law. I would like to point out that I have always had a negative attitude towards the formulation of expert circles or resolutions at the international level to identify the Republic of Artsakh, an internationally unrecognized state, as a ‘gray zone’. It is necessary to avoid any illegal developments in the field of law, and act within the jurisdiction of the state institutions, any other process may lead to the logic of the "gray zone", raising the issue of anarchy and a number of other undesirable phenomena, which, in addition to internal problems, can cause big problems for the international reputation of the Republic of Artsakh. In view of the current situation, it is should be noted in this regard the view expressed during the briefing followed by the Joint Sitting of the Standing Committees on State and Legal Affairs of the National Assemblies of Armenia and Artsakh, which highlighted the potential dangers of the signature petition from the constitutional point of view, the risks in the negotiation process and the consequences.
-What to expect from the realities?
- The main issues raised at the moment are to prevent tensions in civilized and legal ways, to exclude internal discharge; otherwise, they may have the most irreversible consequences. Political blackmail, the use of ultimatums, the political pressure and aggressive behavior used by one or another force are not acceptable in the way of solving these problems. As for other issues in the public and political sphere of the Republic of Artsakh, it should be said that as we are not in the phase of an active electoral campaign, it is desirable to use the period for mastering and introducing pre-election and advanced processes: the "one step forward" principle should work. On the other hand, new realities, activation of new faces, new energetic figures with national mentality are needed. In the 21st century, the realities are developing very fast, and a small percentage of the existing human resources are aware of these realities; this is a problem that exists in all areas of public life.
The game is over for old realities that do not provide professionalism, dynamics, and new objects of interest.