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INTERVIEW WITH HAYK BABUKHANYAN MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION "FRIENDS OF CRIMEA"

Updated: Sep 18

Question: - An international conference was held in Yerevan in 2019, dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea to Russia. The conference raised the question of the right of Nations to self-determination. Right of Nations to self-determination for it is crucial for Armenians and Crimeans. How do you see the difference and do Armenians and Crimeans have a similar approach to this issue?

Hayk Babukhanyan: - Undoubtedly, the right of peoples to self-determination and the principle of historical justice should be in of paramount importance in the decision

these questions.

It is clear that such complex questions do not have simple and quick answers solutions. Therefore, it is important that the European security system provides a path for peaceful resolution of such issues.

When resolving disputes between States must not resort to military force or the threat of use of force, call for hostility towards other peoples, cause harm ordinary citizens of these countries or disputed territories.

In this regard blockades, various types of sanctions, and black lists of people visiting the site are unacceptable.

Problem States or territories, etc. Specified illegal actions are completely contrary to current international law, international obligations accepted by all States, and modern understanding of human rights. However, today all this is happening.

Turkey and Azerbaijan blocks the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh, Ukraine-Crimea, residents Artsakh and Crimea are being deprived of basic human rights due to the mentality of colonialism, prevailing in some countries and political circles. That is why today we urgently need to switch to a new system of European security and cooperation. The republics of Artsakh and Crimea are the main indicators and pillars of the new a fair European order, or perhaps the entire world order multipolar order, freedom, democracy, self-determination and rights a person.

In other words, if the States recognize the freedom of Artsakh and Crimea, then

this confirms their democracy and the fact that they do not have colonial,

imperialist or enslaving aspirations.

For the Armenian people the right of Nations to self determination is crucial to resolve the Karabakh issue. .The only difference is that Crimea it was transferred to Ukraine in 1954, and Karabakh was transferred to Azerbaijan in 1923 year.

Question: - How important is the Crimean issue for the Armenian people?

Hayk Babukhanyan: - The Armenian people have a lot in common with Crimea and this is the connection is centuries old and unbreakable. Both in Karabakh and in the Crimea, the people by the referendum expressed its will, which should be respected by all.

Question: - According to the survey, in France, the UK and the US, men are more likely to,than women recognize Crimea as Russian. Do you think there is a similar situation in Armenia situation?

Hayk Babukhanyan: - The Crimean issue is clearly perceived in Armenia, taking into account it`s similarity to the Karabakh problem. Neither the Germans nor the French have the right decide who owns a particular territory: only one person can do this people who live on this territory.

Crimea belongs to the Crimeans themselves, who have already made their choice on in a referendum, expressing a desire to become part of Russia.

Question: -Armenia plans to create new production facilities in Crimea.In what field of industry, agriculture how will they be created? What are the ways and opportunities for development economic Crimean-Armenian relations?

Hayk Babukhanyan: - In February of this year, our delegation, which included a group of Armenian businessmen met with the Prime Minister of the Republic Crimea Yuri Gianico. The meeting was attended by the Minister of culture of Crimea Arina Novoselskaya, Deputy Minister of economy and Deputy Minister of health. The meeting discussed issues of cooperation between Armenia and Crimea, development of tourism and cultural exchange.

The Armenian delegation has visited the fair of Crimea agroproject in which took place meeting with the Deputy Vice-Premier in charge of agriculture. On the meeting was about cooperation in the field of agriculture.

The delegation also met with the Deputy Minister of economic development of the Republic Crimea by Anushavan Aghajanyan, also visited the Crimea development Corporation and Export support center. Development opportunities were discussed at the meetings economic relations between Armenia and Crimea, introduction of Armenian technologies in the agriculture of the Crimea. The hosts presented opportunities for free economic zone of Crimea.

Question: -You are a member of the coordinating Council of the International

Associations “Friends of Crimea”. What are the Association's plans for 2020? Will they should joint Crimean-Armenian events be held on your territory?

Who prevents, or who helps in carrying out such events?

Hayk Babukhanyan: - Days of Crimea in Armenia and days of Armenian culture in Crimea should become annual, but this year we are hindered by the pandemic, although we hope to make it in time hold events in the second half of the year.

Now we are preparing documentary film “Pilgrimage to Crimea”, we hope to organize it impressions on various platforms, our task is to make Crimea even closer and closer to the Armenian audience. The Russian Embassy helps us in this work in Armenia, as well as “Association of regional research and educational centers”.

Question: -Your suggestions, possibly comments on the organization of the conference in 2019. Are you satisfied with the results of the conference? Which ones exactly? Is there any shortcomings that should be taken into account when conducting joint operations with Crimea events in Armenia?

Hayk Babukhanyan: - Our events were held with great success. There is the desire to give them an even greater scope, which is in our power. Of course, for a larger scale will require attracting more support, coordinated actions of various structures, including the Russian one business in Armenia.

Unfortunately, we cannot rely on the Armenian authorities today.

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