The color of Pomegranate – an overview of events in Armenia this week
Over the past week, the political situation in our southern neighbors has remained tense. An ultimatum has been issued to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – he must resign by Tuesday. The unification of 17 opposition parties makes such a demand. In an interview with Echo Kavkaza radio, Director of the Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan called the protest elite, meaning that the current Prime Minister of Armenia is actively opposed by the public elite of the Armenian capital, and not the broad masses. At the same time, Iskandaryan stressed that this does not mean at all that Pashinyan is popular among the people. It’s just that in today’s Armenia there is fatigue, apathy, and, in general, not a very big desire to make another revolution after just two years. However, protest sentiments have a definite growth potential, given the economic crisis and refugees from Karabakh. On December 3, 17 opposition parties nominated 74-year-old veteran of Armenian politics Vazgen Manukyan as a candidate for the post of interim prime minister. In turn, the parliamentary faction of the opposition “Enlightened Armenia” party will not support the candidacy of Vazgen Manukyan, and in the event of Pashinyan’s resignation, it will nominate its leader Edmond Marukyan. But on the other hand, Robert Kocharian himself supported Manukyan, which is also quite symptomatic. In general, Kocharian believes that the authorities provoked this war and that Armenia could have won this war.
On Monday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke about his meeting with the former leaders of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. According to telegram channel Bagramyan 26, Pashinyan said that the first and second presidents of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Robert Kocharian want to fly to Moscow for high-level meetings, after which a meeting with Pashinyan will take place. The prime minister agreed to provide a special flight, but refused to offer the status of special envoys for talks with the Russian president for his former colleagues, saying that he speaks to Putin five or six times a day on the phone and he does not need special envoys. The meeting ended in nothing, and as a result, Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Robert Kocharyan never went to Moscow. This provoked a sharp reaction from the first President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who stated that the Armenian people would never forgive Pashinyan. The meeting was public, and at it the President of Armenia once again confirmed his position on the issue of removing the current government from power – In any country where such a tragedy has occurred, the government must leave. Armenia can get out of the post-war crisis in Karabakh by joint work, through early elections.
On the other hand, the current President of Armenia Armen Sargsyan paid a private visit to Moscow last week. The private nature of the visit does not imply official meetings, but does not exclude private ones. One of these meetings was a meeting between the President and representatives of the Armenian Diaspora in Russia. The Armenian President also supports the idea of the government’s resignation, which is actually much more serious than all other statements.
During the online CSTO summit, Putin practically supported Pashinyan. stating that “Armenia and the Armenian people have gone through a very difficult period. According to him, the country’s leadership made very difficult decisions, and these decisions required the personal courage of the Prime Minister. He took this responsibility upon himself. Our task now is to support the Prime Minister himself and his team. ” And the Russian billionaire, the founder of the financial and industrial group Tashir Samvel Karapetyan urged Pashinyan to resign. Following Karapetyan, Pashinyan’s resignation was demanded by another Russian oligarch, founder of the Monarch group of companies Sergei Ambartsumyan.
In general, the clouds over Pashinyan, of course, thickened quite seriously, according to a poll by the Gallup International association, 45% of the population of Armenia believes that Pashinyan should leave, and 38% do not want his resignation. Can this survey be trusted? Alexander Iskandaryan thinks not quite.
After the end of hostilities, according to the Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of Karabakh, Zhirayr Mirzoyan, 55,000 refugees returned to Karabakh. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced a different figure, according to their data, the number of those who returned does not exceed 23 thousand.
The deputies of the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, voted for the resolution “on the protection of the Armenian people and Christian communities in Europe and the East.” It also mentions the need to recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking at the National Assembly, said that “our Armenian friends never asked us to recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and did not themselves recognize NKR “. However, not even a day had passed when François Rochebloin, a former member of the French parliament, accused the minister of lying, saying that Pashinyan had personally asked France for recognition.
On December 1, according to the Agreement between Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia, the Lachin region was transferred to Azerbaijan. The Russian military controls the road connecting Karabakh with Armenia – the so-called Lachin corridor.
Well, on Saturday, a rally was held on the theater square of Yerevan demanding Pashinyan’s resignation. Opinions about the number of people gathered in the square vary from 35 thousand according to the opposition’s version to 5-8 thousand according to the Orly telegram channel and 7 400 participants according to the Baghramyan 26 telegram channel.
Deputy of the Armenian National Assembly Arman Babajanyan believes that Armenia should not be offended by Georgia, Iran and Israel, but should build relations with them. I don’t know about Iran, but why should Armenia be offended by Georgia, the authorities of which never mentioned the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in their statements, and all the time called for peace and even for the intervention of the OSCE Minsk Group is absolutely incomprehensible. By the way, the overland military transit was also blocked for everyone, the air one was impossible to block and both sides used it.
Next week will be just as interesting, stay tuned.
Review prepared by Tamo Dartsmelia, GSAC