YEREVAN, January 31. /ARKA/. All the points specified in the statements made by the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan on November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021, should be implemented in a coordinated manner, Ashot Tavadyan, Doctor of Economics, said in an interview with the Public Television of Armenia.
The reopening of all roads in the region stems from a statement signed by the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan and Armenian prime minister after four-hour talks in Moscow on January 11. They also agreed to set up a joint working group that will deal with practical issues relating to restoring transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The reopening of rail and road links in the region implies reopening of roads between Azerbaijan’s exclave Nakhichevan and the rest of Azerbaijan through southeastern Armenian province of Syunik. Armenia is supposed for its part to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route for cargo shipments to and from Russia
“So far this has not happened, and this is a problem faced by the government of Armenia. I would like to draw attention to point 7 of the November 9 statement, which says that people should return to their places of residence, not only refugees, but also internally displaced persons. I mean Hadrut, historical Armenian villages Karin Tak, Skhnakh and Avetaranots (which are now controlled by Azerbaijan). The 8th point notes that captives, hostages and other detained persons must be returned,” Tavadyan said.
As for the unblocking of communications, according to Tavadyan, the road from the Armenian town Vardenis to Martakert in Nagorno-Karabakh is closed for Armenians.
“We must protect our interests. For Armenian exports to Russia such as brandy or footwear the transportation factor is insignificant. From an economic point of view, we are more interested in the reopening of the railroad between Armenian Gyumri and Turkish Kars, because we transport our raw materials – nonferrous metals – to Europe. And here we can get big dividends,” Tavadyan said, noting that this issue somehow fell out of sight.
He noted that first of all, it is necessary to resolve the issue of tariffs.
“We must not allow the length of the railway in Armenia to be 45 km; it must be as long as possible. We will win in terms of tariffs and our budget will receive more payments. The second issue is safety. This is an important issue. The third issue is economic benefits. We should set clear tasks and present solution mechanisms,” Tavadyan said.
According to him, a comprehensive solution to these problems can bring political dividends, for example, in the issue of the return of prisoners of war and displaced persons, which is noted in the statement.
Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Mher Grigoryan, Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Overchuk held the first meeting of the trilateral working group in Moscow on January 30, 2021.
On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and phosphorus weapons.
After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia.
A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor. Internally displaced persons and refugees are returning to Karabakh and adjacent regions, prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons and bodies of the dead are being exchanged.