Second President Robert Kocharyan promised the voters of a north-western Armenian town on Monday to return the seized regions of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) "if elected" to restore at least the formally established borders of the Soviet-time autonomous region, Tert.am reports.
As the biggest challenge, he cited the timeframes of the Russian peacekeeping mission (which is only five years). “In four years and six months, Azerbaijan may refuse [to host them on its formally recognized territory] and raise demand for their withdrawal. It creates a big uncertainty. What we need to do first is to achieve a settlement for this – as well as the assurance that it will not ever happen – given that it really creates a big uncertainty over the future of Karabakh on the whole,” he added.
Meantime the former president said he sees real chances for breaking the existing stalemate. “We are entering into a negotiation process in a very weak condition, and I attribute the strengthening and re-establishment of the military directly to this negotiating status,” he said.