"For many years, the corridor was under the control of the Armenian armed forces, the occupiers. I can say that the initial version of the joint statement signed on 10 November contained a provision on keeping this corridor under the control of the Armenian armed forces. I opposed this and as a result, control over this corridor was transferred to Russian peacekeepers. I think this is a great achievement. The Lachin corridor has been cleared of Armenian occupying forces. I must also say that a lot of work was done on the initial version of the statement, especially after the liberation of the city of Shusha from the occupation. The initial version of the statement suggested that the width of the Lachin corridor should be 30 kilometers. I was categorically against this and said that these claims of the Armenian side were absolutely unfounded. There is no need for such a wide corridor to ensure security measures within the corridor. Therefore, I considered this proposal as being absolutely unacceptable and expressed my opinion. The second version envisaged the Lachin corridor as being 10 kilometers wide. I didn’t agree to that either, as a result of which agreement was reached on a corridor 5 kilometers wide. The 5km corridor is wide enough for us, for the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh and for ensuring security."
I should also say that the return of Lachin district to Azerbaijan, especially the issue related to the Lachin corridor, has always been discussed as a very important and separate topic in the negotiations held over many years – for about 30 years. In general, the Armenian side believed that the entire Lachin district should be given to them as a corridor. Unfortunately, some Western circles supported this position, which made Armenia's position even more irreconcilable, and one can say that the enemy became completely impudent. As a result, a very serious policy of settlement was carried out in Lachin district. Illegal settlement was also carried out in other places liberated from occupation, but not to the same extent, not in the same volume. For example, if we look at Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan and Gubadli districts, there were more military units there. All the houses and buildings there were destroyed by the hated enemy. Servicemen, members of their families and a small number of civilians used to live there. The Armenians brought from abroad were not sent there. Lachin district was very seriously taken under Armenian control and a very large settlement program was implemented there. Thousands of people lived there. According to some sources, about 10,000 people may have lived there. In other words, the Armenian leadership had no intention of returning Lachin district to Azerbaijan. When topics related to the Lachin corridor were raised during the negotiations, both Armenia and its patrons always noted that, no, Lachin district is a separate topic. Although we were not told this directly, there was always an opinion that Lachin district should be retained by Armenia in some form, President noted.