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The third republic, Nagorno-Karabakh: inside and outside (PART 2), Vahram Atanesyan (VIDEO)

The Third Republic

1 October 2023, 20:00

Radar Armenia presents the "Third Republic" historical program. Our interlocutors are active actors and witnesses to the events and tell about the unlit episodes of the newly independent state.

The guest of the "Third Republic" program is Vahram Atanesyan, a public politician and a former deputy of the Supreme Council of Armenia. The program was filmed before Azerbaijan's latest attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.

During the program, the history of Nagorno-Karabakh was touched upon from inside and outside. In the second part of the program, the speaker expressly referred to the 1998 watershed between the Armenian political elites and its consequences, the Karabakh internal political struggle, and the 2020 disaster.

In 1998, there was, in fact, a significant watershed between the Armenian political elite, and the phased settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was disrupted. What was the responsibility of the government of Nagorno-Karabakh in that matter? Why did Karabakh, being on the frontlines and directly subject to the threat of war, not agree with the opinion of the President of Armenia at that time?

I must analyze the situation in Artsakh in 1997 to answer the question. In November 1996, a popular election for the NKR president took place, and Robert Kocharyan was elected. A few months later, he resigned and moved to Armenia as Prime Minister. In my opinion, Levon Ter-Petrosyan appointed him the prime minister so that the latter, realizing the situation in Armenia, would influence Stepanakert so that the version of the conflict solution, which was to be signed at the end of that year, would be acceptable to Stepanakert. This is my opinion; I have no other comment. Anyone could be appointed prime minister here. It's not like there was no prime minister candidate in Armenia.

According to the law, the next president of Nagorno-Karabakh should be elected within 40 days, but if the election does not take place, they have decided to postpone it. They disagree on the candidate within Stepanakert itself.

Surprisingly, in the end, Stepanakert agreed that Arkady Ghukasyan should be elected as the president, the minister of foreign affairs for only three or four years, and Robert Kocharyan's advisor before that. Kocharyan already knew that the proposed settlement version should be defeated, but what if Leonard Petrosyan were the president of Nagorno-Karabakh? He would not resist that option.

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