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 Thursday, February 25 2016 04:20

Степанян Դավիթ Stepanyan Ստեփանյան David Давид

Karabakh War Hero - Zhirayr Sefilyan: We should finally understand that it is impossible to benefit from collision of empires

Karabakh War Hero - Zhirayr Sefilyan: We should finally understand that it is impossible to benefit from collision of empires

It appears that the ‘stable standstill’ of the last years continues in Armenia, amid domestic policy and social-economic destabilization in both the neighbor countries and wider region. Is it the result of the government’s actions or the country is ‘going with the flow’? 

In my opinion, the latest geopolitical impulses in our region mostly meet the interests of Armenia. In this light, I would like to point at Iran's return to the mainstream politics and the radical positive changes in its relations with the West. Along with the domestic stability of Armenia due to its mono-ethnicity, it creates favorable conditions for the republic to overcome the current disastrous situation and implement our vital interests. If Armenia were governed by a government guided by the national interests rather than by an anti-Armenian regime, the country would experience intensive development. The incumbent regime cannot and does not want to be a self-sufficient political actor and it is robbing its human and material resources instead of developing the country. Under such circumstances, the country is steadily turning into swamp instead of experiencing sustainable development. One can arrive at the conclusion that in terms of strategic prospects Armenia is put at the mercy of the developments.    Such situation is fraught with dangerous consequences given that the external powerful forces interested in our self-sufficiency cannot wait for that self-sufficiency eternally. They will wait for a little more and then will change their approaches and find new solutions, which may have fatal consequences for Armenia.

 

Was Serzh Sargsyan’s February 12 speech part of the Republicans preparations for the parliamentary elections? Is it possible that the ruling elite has really comprehended the heavy social and economic situation in the country, the progressing migration, and other threats to the national security that may lead to a coup? 

Serzh Sargsyan’s speech had two target groups. The first was his team and subordinates whom he seeks to prove that he is able to keep the situation under control and retain his grip on power forever. The second target group was the foreign powers with whom he is trying to agree for extension of his powers. Sargsyan is trying to persuade them to give him a chance to keep his power hinting that he can organize a revolution on his own, should the need arise. In fact, neither of messages can be implemented, as Sargsyan and his missions cannot overcome the growing domestic and external challenges.

Judging by Sargsyan’s speech, the Republicans have tackled the Constitutional reform.Reportedly, in Stepanakert they are preparing for a similar Constitutional reforms. Do you agree with the opposition saying that the authorities just care for their power and do nothing to meet the constantly growing external threats and challenges relying on foreign powers, Russia first, in this issue?   

It is more than evident that a similar scenario of Constitutional revolution will be organized in Stepanakert, considering that the regime in NKR is a branch of the regime in Yerevan. I agree that the authorities just seek to remain in power and do not think of how to meet the external challenges. They really rely on foreign powers in this issue.  

Less than a year is left until the parliamentary elections of 2017. As the Constitution was amended and the president’s institution has been removed, the parliamentary elections will be crucial for the political landscape of the coming years. What will be the steps of your movement in this light? Are you going to cooperate with any other forces?

We seek to consolidate the authentic opposition forces before the parliamentary elections of 2017. The key goal of our actions and consultations with the representatives of other political forces with opposition sentiments is to carry out radical political transformation in Armenia. We consider peaceful but large-scale civil disobedience as the only option for such transformation. 

The citizens of Armenia should exert pressure on the ruling regime to make it leave. Dictators do not come to power through elections and neither do they leave through elections.

Several countries have stuck in the conflict inside and around Syria aslready. It appears that the conflict will involve more even countries. What do you think of the reasons behind that conflict, the goals and prospects of it? 

The reason behind that conflict is the rivalry of the Big Power and their aspiration multi-polarity.  The Big Powers are trying to change the current situation and the political landscape. I think many countries will be split up and new ones will emerge eventually. Unfortunately, these processes will last very long. Therefore, we need to create our national state, if we want the future changes will favorable for Armenia. Otherwise, we may face what happened one hundred year ago.

Armenia is rather close to the hotspots in the Greater Middle East. Do you think that the chaos in Syria, Iraq and other adjacent territories threatens Armenia’s security too? Do you anticipate a spillover of that destabilization into South Caucasus?

This is a real threat that may shift to the Caucasus, and the North Caucasus, first. 

Russia continues building up its military base in Armenia. Is it connected with the growing confrontation with Turkey or there are other military – political reasons behind that? Does it meet Armenia’s interests?  

The existence of the Russian military base in Armenia amid Russia’s armed fight with the terrorist groups that have gained foothold in the region automatically turns the country into a target. Consequently, the 102nd military base in Armenia is creating additional threats.  Secretary General of the CSTO Nikolay Bordyzha has made quite relevant statement lately in the light of the Russian-Turkish confrontation saying that the goal of the Russian military base in Armenia is not Turkey. I think Bordyuzha is franker than the international treaties regulation the activity of the Russian military base in Armenia. In fact, that base ensures Russia’s influence in the South Caucasus.  Certain circles think a possible Russian-Turkish confrontation may create opportunities for fulfillment of Armenian interests, which is rather dangerous. We had repeatedly swallowed the bait in the past and this had rather grave consequences for Armenia. We should finally realize the impossibility to benefit from the collision of empires. After all, every nation should defend its own interest and its own Motherland itself. If we rely on the empires, we will turn into a minor coin and will lose even what we have now. Over the past 200 years Armenians have never benefited from the Russian-Turkish wars regardless of the winner. Quite the opposite, the wars always took place on our territory at the expense of our blood, lands and vital interests.

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