Interview with Vahan Badasyan, Knight of Combat Cross What are your thoughts on today’s information? The second secretary of the Russian embassy announces that the Russian weapons cannot come to Artsakh because Armenia has not recognized the independence of NKR.
This is not a new situation, nor it is unexpected. The second secretary of Russia is the representative of the Russian government, and the line of the Russian is government is that according to the agreement they must have military points in Armenia, which is also a lodgment for them. They would like to have the same in Artsakh but in case both Armenia and Azerbaijan agree, to be able to increase its possibilities in this region. However, this could not happen because the people of Artsakh will not allow the Russian troops here. The Russian troops have nothing to do here, therefore they are saying that they will not give weapons but weapons will come to Artsakh because we will buy it. Whether Russian, Chinese, Iranian or any other country, maybe also Armenian. Have the governments of Armenia learned a lesson from the four-day war?
There are a lot of lessons to learn, if they do not learn those lessons, the governments will get into trouble in the first place because our people were mobilized on the first day of the four-day war, irrespective of the government’s wish, the existing problems. People sent a message of solidarity to the government: dear officials, you want power, we want a homeland, you keep your power, we keep our homeland. Next time the same people under the same policy of this government will not say you keep your power, we keep our homeland. People will pick both power and homeland. In other words, today the authorities have an opportunity to change and be worth their people, and second, people have an opportunity to choose and to change the government for a worthy one. In your opinion, why doesn’t the government change? At least, citizens do not feel a change.
I expect worse things from this government because they have no other ability. And what new things do you expect from the minister of defense Seiran Ohanyan, the chief of police Vova Gasparyan, Speaker Galust Sahakyan or Hovik Abrahamyan? These people have exhausted themselves, their brains. What is your opinion on the draft law on the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh submitted by Members of Parliament Zaruhi Postanjyan and Hrant Bagratyan? Levon Ter-Petrosyan announced that the recognition of NK independence will be a short-sighted act.
I think if the political elite takes into account what Levon Ter-Petrosyan said, it will make a mistake because it was Ter-Petrosyan who was against the liberation of Kelbajar, Aghdam, Zangelan, Arax valley, all these regions, after Shushi, and he always argued that we must hand over those territories. Can you imagine what would be if we returned those territories? The status quo would not be there, and the ceasefire of 94 would not take place, and the independence of Artsakh would not be laid down at all, and everything would take a different course. And what Levon Ter-Petrosyan has said cannot be a reference. If we compare what he said with the thoughts expressed today, we will see that the logic is the same, and the logic is a coward’s logic. At one time, in 1990-1991 the Soviet authorities in Artsakh claimed that they cannot get armed because the Soviet Union does not allow, it is unconstitutional, it angers our enemy Azeris who were armed and had special forces. We got arms secretly and achieved another result, not getting armed was an expression of cowardice. Not only in politics but also in line in general cowardice is not respected. On the contrary, extra boldness, courage, demonstration of force, whether adequate or not, are respected. Considering today’s situation, our security, I consider the recognition of Artsakh a necessity. I am sure that it will not endanger us. On the contrary, it will help us. Will the recognition of independence by Armenia jeopardize the Minsk Group-mediated talks? Don’t you have such fears?
No, I don’t because it is within the context of the Minsk Group proposals, the principles of Madrid conclude that there must be a referendum but the Minsk Group must change its format, the Armenian diplomacy must force the Minsk Group to change its format, because in 1994 when the ceasefire was established, and in April 2016 the ceasefire was violated, and there was aggression, a sudden attack by Azerbaijan, bodies were mutilated, murders were committed. This proves that the principle of territorial integrity cannot be effective. We have proven to the world that our diplomacy must be headed in this direction and announce that the issue must be resolved in the framework of self-determination.
The next is the issue of territories. Before the war, over 500,000 Armenians left Azerbaijan, and 200,000 Azeris left Armenia, all the Azeris lost their apartments, there are facts. Unlike them, the Armenians who left Azerbaijan left their apartments. These territories will always be buffers because Azerbaijan always aspires to Artsakh. Finally, these are historically our territories. Azerbaijan is an artificial empire created by Soviet Russia and Turkey to address pan-Turkic goals. There the native peoples of the Caucasus – Talish, Lezgi people live – who are extremely suppressed and humiliated by assimilation taking place. In other words, we must be in charge of the rights of those people, they are deprived of ethnic rights, their nationality in their passports is Azeri. Azerbaijan is an empire, very dangerous for the humanity. Artsakh left that empire of 70 years. This is part of the Armenian people, and we must save the other peoples to leave the Azerbaijani empire which is a big danger to the region. Have sentiments for Russia changed in Artsakh after the war?
Fortunately and to my joy, I must say that there is no blind worship of the Russian government. We’re not against the Russian people, we understand their culture, a lot of customs, lessons of patriotism, old literature and so on are very dear to us but the interests of Tsarist Russia, Soviet Russia and the present Russian government were aligned with Turkey first, now Azerbaijan on the Armenian land, at the expense of the Armenian blood. Blind Russophiles used to say that the interests of the Russian state save us but fortunately 95% understood that strengthening of our independence and relying on our own selves will save us. Russia’s imperialistic policy is very dangerous, and it should not be let go. Every single person in Artsakh realized this, and this is very good.