Victor Krivopuskov:

Russia Responsible for fair Settlement of Karabakh

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict has been much spoken
about recently. 2006 was declared the "year of final
deal". In this view the opinion of a person, who was
in Stepanakert at the very beginning of the conflict
and is well aware of the history and development of
the opposition between Nagorno Karabakh is important.
PanARMENIAN.Net requested chief of the staff of the
investigation-operation group of the Nagorno Karabakh
Autonomous Region in 1900-1991 and presently President
of the Society of Friendship and Cooperation with
Armenia Victor Krivopuskov to answer a number of

31.03.2006 GMT+04:00

How well is the Russian political elite informed of
the Nagorno Karabakh conflict?

Information blockade over the Nagorno Karabakh problem
has been created in Russia. In general the Russian
political elite is badly informed of the Nagorno
Karabakh conflict. "Publications are few in number,
not to mention TV programs. The situation with
websites has improved a bit lately, but they do not
change the whole picture.

The Russian state media trying not to arouse
Azerbaijan's discontent do not call things by their
proper names and thus prefer to write nothing about
the conflict. "Over this reason the major part of our
political elite and the society have poor knowledge
not only of Karabakh's present problems but also of
the true causes of the conflict.

A new generation of Russians grew up during the recent
15 years. It means a new generation of politicians who
are unaware of the conflict. I have many times heard
people say that Karabakh is inhabited by Azerbaijanis
and that Armenians are Muslims. People are unaware of
the age-old friendship between the Armenian and
Russian people, of the significant role the Armenians
of Karabakh played 200 years ago in the liberation of
Armenia from the Persian and Ottoman yoke and
self-willed joining Russia.

What is the role of Russia in the conflict settlement?

I would like to believe that Russia deals with the
Karabakh settlement not only as the OSCE Minsk Group
Co-chair. Russia as no other party is first of all
interested inn maintenance of peace in the Caucasus.
Being the assignee of the Soviet Union Russia is
responsible for the alienation of Nagorno Karabakh
from Armenia in 1992 that took place through the fault
of Bolshevik Russia and consequently for the fair
resolution of the Karabakh problem.

I also regret over the exchange of welcome telegrams
between the Foreign Ministries of Russia and Turkey on
the anniversary of Moscow Treaty signed on March 16,
1921. "To put it mildly, it was odd to mark the date
when the Western Armenian territories as well as the
Kars region and Surmalu district belonging to Russia
were conveyed to Turkey

Everyone, who knows the history a bit understand that
it was a hazardous agreement concluded without
participation of representative of Armenia of that
time in order to involve young Turks in the promotion
of world socialist revolution in the Near East. As
result Turks behaved with traditional eastern
delicacy. They not only saved Sultan Empire from
division but also received from Soviet Russia new
territories and succeeded in smashing Eastern Armenia
to three pieces. And now it would be appropriate to
renounce the historical venture of Bolshevik
predecessors and keep silent. By the way I won't be
surprised if October 13 our MFA will celebrate the
85th anniversary of the Kars agreement that confirmed
the outcomes of the shameful Moscow agreement.

In your opinion what can the Karabakh conflict
settlement model look like?

The conflict settlement model should necessarily
provide for reasonable and bloodless approach
proceeding from the true but not distorted history of
the region with the complete maintenance of human
right including the right to self-determination. As a
man well aware of the history of Karabakh and as the
author of "Rebellious Karabakh" book I want to believe
in a fair settlement model, the fairest model that
will bring people back to peaceful and friendly
co-existence. But such model seems to be doomed to
failure in the near future.

The history will severely punish the politicians, who
in response to fair aspiration of the Armenian
population of Nagorno Karabakh, provoked and allowed
bloody national collision between two peoples in
Azerbaijan since 1988.

Armenian lobby is active in the United States, France
and other countries. How strong is the Armenian lobby
in Russia?

Judging from the development of the Russian-Armenian
relations the Armenian lobby in Russia is probably
absent. Even if it exists its role is unnoticeable.
Despite the successful development of relationships
between the two states the potential of friendship is
not fully used, Armenians within the Russian public
and political elite are not to blame for it.

First of all because the notion of lobbying in Russia
is still too young. Lobbying implies open contribution
to the power bodies in taking favorable decisions
excluding bribery. Unfortunately, today pushing of
interests at any level in Russia has acquired the form
of shadow lobbying. At that Russia lacks the law on
lobbying and the attempts to introduce the bill to the
Russian State Duma in 1992, 1995 and 2000 were a
failure. Thus, with the transparent and public form of
lobbying it's improperly to speak of the availability
of Armenian lobby in Russia, the Russian politician
considers. Armenians independently of citizenship are
always potential lobbyists of Russia's interests both
within the society and at the international level.

"PanARMENIAN.Net", 31.03.2006