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Robert Kocharyan: Was the War Inevitable or was it Provoked?

Armenia’s heavy defeat in last year’s war have raised numerous questions, but the people have not been provided with a logical answer to any of them so far, Armenia's second President Robert Kocharyan, the leader of the opposition Armenia bloc, told a news conference on the anniversary of the third Artsakh war on MondayPanorama reports.

According to him, over the recent year, new questions that also lack answers have arisen.

"The most important question is the following: was the war inevitable or was it deliberately provoked? Was it caused by political naivety? Before deciding to start a war, any state has to conduct an in-depth analysis, comparing the armed forces of its country with those of another country, assessing the domestic political situation in that country, finding out whether they are able to consolidate society in that country. It tries to understand the abilities of the government of the enemy state and how its allies and the military-political units which it is part of would respond,” the ex-president said.

“It's a classical analysis, and you can't make this kind of decisions without it. When a favorable situation emerges on the basis of some of these facts, a decision is made to start a war. This is the alphabet of the state administration," he said.

Kocharyan stated that since 2018 Armenia had done everything possible so that all these circumstances coincided and Azerbaijan assessed the situation as favorable to solve the Karabakh issue by military means.

"The Armenian side brought the negotiations to a stalemate with its contradictory statements; we have made three different statements in three years, sparking the distrust of the OSCE Minsk Group towards Armenia. An opinion formed that we were trying to avoid the negotiation process by trickery. We discredited the army with various criminal cases and split the society into “black” and “white” categories. We demonstrated that in terms of governance, Armenia had a chaotic government, and during wartime such a governance style is simply fatal for the country. We spoiled relations with Russia and the CSTO. It was clear that as a unit, it will not participate in all this," he stated.

Kocharyan underlined that Azerbaijan closely followed all the developments and thought that there would not be more favorable conditions to start a war with minimal risks.

"It was because of these mistakes that we found ourselves in isolation. No country condemned Azerbaijan for unleashing a war. It was as if we had no Foreign Ministry at all; although we had experienced diplomats, but the Foreign Ministry as a structure was non-functional. Everything was done to involve Turkey. The defense minister’s statement "new war, new territories” left no alternative for Azerbaijan. It simply embraced Turkey to reduce the risks. This is also a fact. As I said previously, if there were Turkish agents in power in Armenia, they would do the same thing in the same order to achieve their goal," Kocharyan noted.

He recalled that before the outbreak of the war, almost all experts had warned of its high risk, adding even embassies warned their citizens that it was dangerous to go to Karabakh.

"It is hard to assume that our government was not aware of it. And if it did know, it begs the question why in the first two or three days of the war we suffered huge losses of military equipment, defense systems, artillery? There are simply no explanations to it," the former president said.

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