ArmInfo. In an interview with ArmInfo, NKR presidential candidate, Artsakh hero Vitaly Balasanyan spoke about his attitude to the coronavirus, the political situation in connection with the spread of the virus, election campaigning and other issues.
Mr. Balasanyan, we had planned to discuss your political program as a candidate for the NKR presidency, however, the situation has changed dramatically as the state of emergency has been declared in Armenia due to the coronavirus pandemic. How do you assess the situation?
Yes, the situation is complicated. There is no right time for political campaign now, it is important to unite people in the face of a new challenge. I understand that our fellow citizens are tired of constant mobilization. The military threat, the threat of creating co-residence with Azerbaijan - all this makes people live in a constant state of anxiety. I fear that the next threat, a new type of threat will not be taken seriously. The leadership of the Republic needs to be extremely convincing and persistent in informing citizens about the impending virus, strictly monitor compliance with the preventive and isolation regime so as not to repeat the experience of Armenia.
In your opinion, will the incumbent government overcome the situation?
For now it's difficult to give final opinion, but I would act much more actively. Yes, Artsakh is a young country, and we face this for the first time. But let's be objective if the virus has already entered the country, no one can overcome it, neither Italy, nor Spain, nor Armenia. But what I see now in Artsakh is negligence and criminal inaction of the authorities. Preventive measures to ensure public safety, dissemination of WHO recommendations and many other measures, needed today, are not taken or are chaotic. Now we need a strategy to overcome the impending crisis, rather than small tactical steps.
How do your political opponents react to change of the situation? May the election date be postponed?
So far, fortunately, there is no reason to postpone the election, but everything may happen. And we, the whole society, will agree with this: because no political ambition can dominate national security issues. As far as I know, all participants in the political race have changed the format of campaigning events in accordance with the recommendations of the election commission. Mass events in enclosed spaces are not held.
What do you plan to do in terms of economic development, in case you win?
A developed economy and a high quality of life are what I want for my people. But without ensuring security, nothing can be developed. How other candidates consider it possible- is a mystery to me. Artsakh is in such a situation that every wrong step can cost us the country. Security is important not only for the economy, but for everything else. Speaking specifically about the economy: I have in my team foreign experts on advanced technologies for developing the economies of small countries who claim that Artsakh's potential is enough to make an economic miracle. You need to start with an audit and inventory, and then everything is as usual - a plan for the directions, responsible officials, deadlines. But the main condition for starting this work is a guarantee of security. For this to begin, a country must have a strong, principled and independent leader.
Thank you for the interesting conversation, Mr. Balasanyan.