The Interview of Ashot Ghoulyan to the "Sputnik Armenia" Information Agency
09 November 2016

- It was recently reported that the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh will be renamed into the Republic of Artsakh in the new Constitution. Why was it decided to make such a change?

During the development of the constitutional reforms accumulation of public sentiments has already been observed on a number of issues, and it would be wrong to ignore this. In this context, much has been said about renaming of the Artsakh Republic. That is why already in September 1991 during the proclamation of the republic the historical name of the region was widely circulated. That issue was also on the agenda when the first constitution was adopted.   

In 2006, after long discussions, we came to the conclusion that our country is known in the region and in the world as Nagorno-Karabakh, and the realities must be taken into account, but simultaneously work towards recognition of our national statehood. But in parallel the work on the promotion of our national statehood has to be done.

Another ten years have passed, and during this period the name of the Republic of Artsakh is more prevalent mainly in the country as well as abroad. The basis of any constitutional reform should be based on the two main points: available realities should be recorded and identified promising strap should be identified. From this perspective, Republic Artsakh is a return to the historical roots, but at the same time planning of the role that is assigned to the second Armenian republic.

- What was the reaction of the international community after the announcement, given the legal side and the pressure from Azerbaijan?

There was no surprising feedback from the outside world, at least for me. The fact that Azerbaijan would issue regular painful reaction was predictable. Realistic perception dominated in the reaction of the international community. And it is pointless to comment on the inspiration of the Armenian diaspora on this issue.

For over 25 years Artsakh is a sovereign republic guided by the interests of its people, in accordance with the international law. Here opinions from abroad, especially from Azerbaijan cannot be decisive or dictating. Our neighbors in 1988 irrevocably lost the right to participate in matters relating to Artsakh, as a result of the April war, missed the opportunity to build good-neighborly relations.

It is difficult to say how long the misconceptions that their opinion can mean anything in Artsakh will last. The fact that our new Constitution will belong to Artsakh, is a reminder of the need to come to terms with the historical realities. It is hard to say about the duration of the delusion that their opinion might mean something in independent Artsakh. The fact that our new Constitution belongs to the Artsakh Republic is also a reminder that we need to come to terms with the facts of historic realities.