The interview of the “RUSARMINFO” agency with Ashot Beglaryan, a journalist and author ofthe «Karabakh Diary»book.
Mr. Beglaryan, yesterday at the “RUSARMINFO” press center took place the presentation of «Karabakh Diary» book, which caused the aggressive reaction of Azerbaijanis. What kind of materials included in the book could cause such a reaction?
The main reason is that they don’t admit the truth about the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, even yet not recognized internationally. This book represents an unbiased picture of the war years; it is a conversation with the participants of the war, interviews and sketches that convey the reality and spirit of the time.
Naturally, this book is not beneficial to our enemies, so they tried to stop the event. I think they chose the wrong path. Going against the truth means going against yourself, which will certainly lead to failures. Are you ready to hold discussions with the Azerbaijani side?
Of course, we are. We always emphasize on different levels our readiness for dialogue with the Azerbaijani side. By the way, in contrast to Baku, we have always been open to them, and many Azerbaijani political and public figures, journalists, human rights defenders visited Stepanakert.
They have always had the ability to communicate with people, not only with ordinary citizens, but also with government officials, up to the president. We never tried to hide what’s happening on our side, as opposed to our neighbors. Today we are ready to push the dialogue and, moreover, we have the ground to rely on in our conversation with them.
It’s much said that to resolve the conflict the Nagorno Karabakh Republic should become a party to the negotiation process. What steps are taken in the NKR in this direction?
Prior to 1997, Nagorno-Karabakh participated in the negotiation process as the subject rather than the object of international relations. I want to note that all the tripartite agreements that led to the truce were signed by the representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Today we need to restore the full format of the negotiation process, since deciding the fate of the country without its participation seems absurd. Karabakh is the main party to the conflict and, Armenia, in this case, is the party involved in the conflict as a guarantor of the security of its part of the population in Nagorno-Karabakh. But Azerbaijan, translating the negotiations in the plane of the territorial dispute, tries to qualify Armenia as an aggressor. In fact, the realization of the right of people to the self-determination took place. This is the basis of conflict resolution. The third chapter of your book is about today’s Nagorno Karabakh. Please, tell us about the economic situation in the country, the undertaken changes and how the population sees the future of the NKR.
Today we are in a situation of neither war nor peace. Every day on the front line we eyewitness provocations from the Azerbaijani side. But even in such circumstances, Karabakh continues to evolve. We recorded a notable success in this direction, in particular, Karabakh produces the 80% of electricity used in the country.
The mining industry is well-developed. The advances of the economic life are obvious. But still there is a huge range of unresolved problems of the refugees, families of the victims and disabled. The Government takes all the necessary steps to resolve the social problems.
There’s a view point that to resolve the conflict at least some territory should be returned to Azerbaijan. What’s the attitude of the Artsakh population to this idea? Are they prepared to return those lands which were liberated in blood?
From a historical point of view, we have nothing to return to Azerbaijan, we actually returned our own historic lands. In former Aghdam the excavation works are in process, and from the ground grows the ancient Armenian city of Tigranakert.
If Baku comes to its sense, shows constructiveness and sits down at the negotiation table, then many issues can be discussed, including the issues related to the territories. However, one should bear in mind that in this respect we have our claims to Azerbaijan. In particular, Shahumyan region, parts of Askeran and Martuni regions up to this day are under the occupation of Azerbaijan
As one of thesolutions tothe conflict is proposed the deployment of peacekeepingforcesin Karabakh, in particular,the Russian peacekeeping forces. In your opinion,is it possible tosolve the problemthis way, andwhat’s the population attitude tosuch a development?
The military-political balance is maintained by theArmyof Nagorno—Karabakh. I believe thatin the current situationpeacekeeping forcecanbe a destabilizingfactor in thebackground ofopen hostility.
ВIn such circumstances,they can notcarry out their activities; in addition, they can beused by the authoritiesof Azerbaijanfor the resumptionof newlarge-scale hostilities.
Please, tell us, how does look likethe demographic situationin Artsakh?
A positive dynamic is observed in regards to the Nagorno-Karabakh demography. Summing up the natural and mechanical growth of the population of Karabakh, in one year it has increased by 1.5 times. There is also a certain outflow, mainly in regards to young people who are looking for better paid jobs. Karabakh has a great natural potential, and it’s possible to increase the population at least twice using all the available resources.