Masis Mayilian. Courtesy image

After months of speculation, Artsakh’s foreign minister Masis Mayilian has indicated that he may join the presidential race.

“I do not rule out my active participation in the elections,” Mayilian said in a Facebook comment on August 13. “Once again reaffirming my strong interest in ensuring safe, reliable, civilized and democratic future for our country and my principled willingness to assume even greater responsibility for building this future, I would like to inform that I think in this direction.”

Mayilian was appointed foreign minister in September 2017, shortly after incumbent president Bako Sahakyan was re-elected to his third transition term that is set to conclude in 2020. Prior to re-joining the government, Mayilian was the main opposition candidate, running against Sahakyan in 2007, and he also backed Vitaly Balasanyan’s bid against Sahakyan in 2012. Mayilian also established a think tank that published on international security and foreign policy topics.

From 1992 to 2007, Mayilian worked at NKR’s Foreign Ministry rising to the rank of deputy minister in 2001. Born in 1967 in Stepanakert, Mayilian is graduate of the local Pedagogical Institute (now the Artsakh State University) in 1991 and Vienna Diplomatic Academy in 1998.

A widely respected professional, Mayilian is joining three other figures who have already expressed interest in being presidential candidates: Samvel Babayan, Vitaly Balasanyan and Arayik Harutyunyan.