Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: If Russia stops supplying weapons to Armenia and Azerbaijan, other countries would occupy Russia's place.Reuters
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says he understands what needs to be done to settle the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
"I have my own opinion as to how the events unfolded and, most importantly, what needs to be undertaken," Medvedev said in an interview shown in a April 9 news program hosted by Sergei Brilev on the Rossiya-1 (VGTRK) television channel.
Medvedev said that, after the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated, he had personally visited first Armenia and then Azerbaijan, where he discussed the situation with the leaderships of both countries.
Apart from that, he said, he had discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh problem with Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders before, having had about 15 meetings with them in the previous years.
By calling Russia a party to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan might have tried to add fuel to the fire, Medvedev said.
"Instead of calling for calming down and saying: let's return to the negotiating table, let's discuss the matter again, and let's stop firing - certain judgments were made," he added.
"What for? Just to add fuel to the fire? Certainly, this cannot but alarm us," he said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev prefers to see the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh frozen than resolved at the cost of people's lives.
"If you ask me to choose between preserving the conflict in a frozen state, that is, not seeking to resolve it quickly, and the value of a human life sacrificed at the altar of the conflict's resolution, I'd prefer [...] the current situation to be preserved rather than blood to be shed," Medvedev said.
"The problem is that this conflict, just as any other conflict, can be resolved in an absolutely certain way, and whatever way of resolving the conflict is chosen, some would like it and some not," he said.
If Russia stops supplying weapons to Armenia and Azerbaijan, other countries would occupy Russia's place, Medvedev said.
"If we imagine for a minute that Russia gives up this role, we perfectly understand that this place won't remain empty. They'll buy weapons from other countries, and the degree of their lethality won't be lower from this," he said.
"But at the same time, this would even somewhat upset the existing balance, because we understand our partners' demands and everyone understands the alignment of forces in the region," Medvedev said.
Prime Minister added he was not sure that, "if arms suppliers from other countries come to this market, this would make the situation easier." On the contrary, the situation "is likely to become even more complicated," he said.
"I believe weapons can and should be acquired not only to use them at some moment but also as a deterrence factor, and all conflicting parties should bear this factor in mind," Medvedev said.
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