Independent analyst Saro Saroyan in his interview with ArmInfo discusses the latest internal political processes in Armenia, notices the relationship between them and the cancellation of the Zurich protocols. He shares his own vision and the forecast in respect to the Artsakh problem settlement.
In your opinion, did the Armenian society come to the right conclusions based on assessments and awareness of the events taken place 10 years ago?
As a rule, when posing such a question, it is assumed that correct conclusions imply the exclusion in the future of political actors of some steps that could lead to human casualties and the overstretching the political situation. Such a conviction suggests that the ruling regime in Armenia would never wish victims as a result of political struggle. Hence an a priori conclusion comes that the current regime was supposed to come to the appropriate conclusions after the tragedy of March 1, 2008 in order to prevent the outbreak of hatred of society in its attitude in the future. However, this kind of thinking has certain drawbacks. I think that for many of us the March 1 victims are unequivocally the result of a deliberately committed crime, and not involuntary victims of the case. In other words, they are the target of premeditated defeat for the purpose of destruction. The man who gave the order to shoot at the defeat of peaceful demonstrators, was perfectly aware of what order he issues. And after 10 years in court, the specific executors of this order, the person who gave this order, were not identified and punished. Accordingly, it is not necessary to speak on a similar background about correct conclusions. In a similar situation, the regime will again shoot and kill. And what should hold him back: the fear of being punished for this, the sense of shame, the hatred of society, the satisfaction of the extortioner of material benefits, or the lack of motivation to rule? Any dictatorial regime never wants to bring a public revolt directed against itself to the death of people, however, in the political confrontation of the actors there are two and the use of weapons primarily comes from threats to this regime. Perhaps I will disappoint many people, but I must say that in the event of a threat to their existence, the illegitimate regime will always wish such shooting. And here the problem is not in the regime, the problem in society itself.
Is there any intrigue about the election of Armen Sargsyan as the President and about the upcoming elections of the Prime Minister of Armenia?
With Serzh Sargsyan's nomination of Armen Sargsyan's candidacy for the presidency, it became clear to me that the only intrigue around high-ranking Armenian officials was the lack of legitimacy. And today I see only one intrigue in the internal political processes taking place in the country. It consists in determining the name or names of the beneficiaries of the "election" of the next illegitimate president. This issue is important because the presidential election is a kind of prelude to the election of the Prime Minister. The whole question is how the next, illegitimate president, having problems with RA citizenship, problems with the people's election, living outside Armenia will behave. As a puppet restrained by the absence of legitimacy or as a person with amorphous powers? And if the "import" of such a president into Armenia is the exclusive "merit" of Serzh Sargsyan, then there cannot be any other solution by deafault to determine the person of the Prime minister. This decision will also be taken by Serzh Sargsyan. Accordingly, there is no need to look for any other intrigues here.
Do you see any relation between Armenia's cancellation of the Armenian-Turkish protocols and the domestic political agenda of the country's authorities? What is the foreign policy importance of this step?
There is, of course, a direct connection between the question of the cancellation of the Armenian-Turkish protocols and the rule of the 4th President of Armenia. These protocols were called to life as a result of personal agreements between Serzh Sargsyan and Moscow. Here we should recall the revelations made by Armen Sargsyan within recent days. The latter, in fact, acknowledged the existence of an uncertain situation in the matter of foreign policy, stating that clarification of this issue would become possible only after the election of the President and Prime minister. At the same time, it should be noted that Turkey's foreign policy has long gone beyond the logic of resolving problems with neighboring countries. In this light, the Armenian-Turkish protocols, having lost one of the main beneficiaries, as well as, in fact, the main actors, were inevitably to be annulled. This released Armenia from hostage status of an imposed, empty in its essence, and therefore a hopeless process of reconciliation with Turkey.
Do you expect real steps this year towards reaching a settlement in Karabakh ? It looks like there are certain preconditions for that. Or will the 2018 be just a continuation of the imitation of the settlement?
I am on the side of people who are confident the Karabakh problem has found its solution long ago. And today the real problem is not in what the parties to the conflict are negotiating. As a result of the negotiations, we expect only legal recognition of Artsakh, which is actually independent, and the international community treats this issue with great loyalty. And if Azerbaijan ever gets the opportunity to solve the problem by military means, it will do it, regardless of whether the NKR will be an internationally recognized state or not. Therefore, giving importance to the negotiations and the possibility of reaching agreements with Azerbaijan, we only strengthen its aggression itowards us. When we convince ourselves that the problem rests on the legal recognition of Artsakh and that Azerbaijan will calm down only after such recognition, this only strengthens the position of Baku. Azerbaijan will never recognize Artsakh, because the generation of a state of danger, the achievement of a public consensus in this country is possible only around aggression against Artsakh. Imagine what will happen to this country after one day it becomes clear that Armenian-hatred and Armenian-phobia, it turns out, were falsification. What will happen after Azerbaijan recognizes the right to Artsakh's sovereignty over "historical" Azerbaijani territories, the right of self-determination of national minorities, etc. Against the backdrop of the impossibility of all of the above, linking the international recognition of Artsakh with negotiations over the years with Azerbaijan loses all meaning. Accordingly, a clear division of the above two issues and a dialogue with the world in the absence of binding talks with Azerbaijan will exactly speed up the international adjudication of Artsakh. Many countries will recognize Artsakh much sooner after it becomes clear that the price of this recognition for Armenia is not so high, since its problem has been solved for a long time and therefore it is not necessary to speak the Armenians from the position of benefactors. Therefore, once such thinking becomes rooted in us and becomes visible to the outside world, political processes will return to a rational course and the problem of legal recognition of Artsakh will become one of the elements of a balanced policy in the South Caucasus for the superpowers. There will always be forces willing to take into account our subjective decisions and desires. This is a political axiom. In the light of all of the above, the resolution of the Artsakh issue in 2018 through negotiations with Azerbaijan is impossible, nonsense itself is such a statement of the issue.
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