"The Russian contingent did not have a peacekeeping mission from the beginning." Atanesyan

Radar Armenia's interlocutor is Vahram Atanesyan, a former member of the Central Committee of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh National Assembly.

- Why are Russian peacekeepers leaving Nagorno-Karabakh ahead of schedule? Does this reality mean that the position of the Russian Federation has weakened in the South Caucasus? Doesn't the departure of Russian peacekeepers from Nagorno-Karabakh mean Azerbaijan is becoming more influential in the region?

- The Russian contingent did not have a peacekeeping mission from the beginning. It is difficult to say why Moscow left Nagorno-Karabakh, especially at this stage. On the one hand, protecting Ilham Aliyev from internal criticism makes sense, but there are more important interests. The Iran-Russia strategic alliance has yet to be established and is not being established. This is the real reason for the departure of the Russian contingent. Let's wait for the official Tehran's response. The bleakest prospect will be if it is understood that Russia has common interests with Turkey, which also touches on the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

- What dangers and risks can the removal of Russian peacekeepers cause in the South Caucasus, particularly in Armenian-Azerbaijani relations? Can we say that this also wholly closes the issue of the return of deportees from Karabakh?

I do not think Azerbaijan remains in the regime of bilateral relations with Iran. This is a serious problem for Baku, which it seems it cannot manage only with Turkey's support. Russia will have to intervene as well, and that has a price.

The issue of starting the demarcation process from Tavush and whether to return the rural areas under Armenia's control to Azerbaijan is being actively discussed. The opposition considers this a unilateral concession. In your opinion, is this another step towards peace with Azerbaijan or a unilateral concession?

I have expressed my point of view at least twice; let me repeat. What is the legal basis for border demarcation in the Tavush-Kazakh sector? In her words, is the Armenian-Azerbaijani dividing line of Soviet times restored and recognized as an interstate border? This is the overarching problem.

Hayk Magoyan