Moscow, 15 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - The president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic, Arkady Gukasyan, says his position on the Karabakh dispute has not changed, and that Stepanakert will never accept subordination to Baku. Gukasyan was interviewed by RFE/RL today in Moscow, where he has had a series of meetings this week.
Gukasyan this week was quoted by Russia media as saying Karabakh was prepared partially to return to Azerbaijani authority. This was reported as a major concession. But, Gukasyan today said relations between Stepanakert and Baku must be "horizontal," and he repeated that, in any settlement, Karabakh must be recognized as a subject of international law. Gukasyan said remarks he has made about limited statehood for Karabakh are not new, and that many issues and projects can be dealth with jointly and cooperatively in the future.
Gukasyan called again for direct negotiations with Baku, and said the two sides can bridge the gap in their respective positions in face-to-face talks.