Armine Aleksanyan. CivilNet image grab

Speaking at Innovate Armenia on May 18, NKR’s Deputy Foreign Minister Armine Aleksanyan drew parallels between Artsakh’s self-defense since the early 1990s to Armenian resistance during the genocide in the Ottoman Turkey.

“When (in 1990 and 1991) Soviet and Azerbaijan forces began taking away the men from Armenian villages” and pushing the others to relocate, “it became clear to us that the history was being repeated.”

“Our struggle is not just about freedom and liberty,” Aleksanyan stressed, but survival itself. At the same time she stressed the importance of democratic institutions in Artsakh. Having not been recognized internationally, Artsakh’s citizens continue to pay the cost for that. “Our soldiers are the only guarantee that we can go about our daily lives.”

In a pre-event interview with Syuzanna Petrosyan of CivilNet’s Armenia Unlocked, Aleksanyan said that international recognition was a “key priority” of her government. Recognition, including by Armenia, would send a message that Azerbaijan can no longer attack Artsakh at will. She found it difficult to answer if Artsakh could become a recognized part of Armenia in her lifetime.  In the meantime, NKR was striving to expand cooperative engagements internationally, including through parliaments, local governments and non-government institutions.