By Artak Khulian
STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL) — Armenia has not only stopped being the guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh’s security but is also not providing the Armenian-populated territory with adequate diplomatic support, a senior official in Stepanakert complained on Monday, April 4.
Hayk Khanumyan, the Karabakh minister for local government and public infrastructures, said this is what is fueling calls by some Karabakh Armenians for a referendum on becoming part of Russia.
“The Republic of Armenia used to be the guarantor of our security, and in essence it cannot perform that function anymore,” Khanumyan told RFE / RL’s Armenian Service in an interview. “The Russian peacekeeping contingent does not have a mandate to ensure such protection. So people are just trying to raise security issues. They want to be protected.”
“Defense is not just about weapons and ammunition,” he said. “It’s a whole set of measures. Diplomacy, diplomatic service is an important part of that, and it is quite dire straits these days. I’m talking about Armenia.
“Often times not only does it not carry out tasks but also does not receive tasks. The bodies formulating [Armenia’s] foreign policy, whose orders the diplomatic service is supposed to execute, are confused or do not operate normally on the issue of Artsakh and defense.”