Ex. Armenian pres. Sargsyan hurls new accusations at Pashinyan gov't
For two days in a row, an interview with the ex-president was broadcast by one of the opposition Armenian TV channels.
In the first, the former president focused on the details of the Karabakh negotiation process and criticism of the current Armenian authorities for not recognizing the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020, during the war.
In the final part of the interview, Sargsyan accused the authorities of surrendering the strategically important city in Karabakh of Shushi (in Azerbaijan it is called Shusha), of inability to protect the interests of the country and of deteriorating relations not only with a strategic ally – Russia, but also with all neighbors.
After two constitutionally allowed terms in office, Serzh Sargsyan was elected by the parliament as Prime Minister of Armenia, but remained in office for only about a week. He resigned on April 23, 2018, at the request of thousands of people who took to the streets during the Velvet Revolution. On May 8, the leader of the protest movement Nikol Pashinyan took office in his place.
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“Shushi was surrendered”
“I’m not saying that intentionally, but Shushi was surrendered. The roots of failure [in the war] should be found there,” the ex-president said.
In his opinion, the capture of the city was the original goal of Azerbaijan – based on the statements of President Ilham Aliyev and the actions of the enemy army.
Serzh Sargsyan says that the defense of Shushi was transferred under the leadership of the former Minister of Defense of Armenia Seyran Ohanyan only at the end of the war, and the defense of Stepanakert was transferred to the ex-head of the Karabakh Defense Army Levon Mnatsakanyan.
It was a tactical move, the ex-president believes, in order to blame the former in case of losses.
According to Sargsyan, despite his many connections among the military, he is unable to clarify several important issues:
“Who commanded the defense of Hadrut? And in general, who commanded this front. Okay, then it was a secret. But why now we do not know who it was”.
The stories about the fall of the impregnable fortress-city of Shushi are the most discussed topic in Armenian society. And during the war, until the evening of November 9, information was spread in the Armenian segment of Facebook and Telegram that fighting in Shushi was continuing.
Moreover, in the evening of the same day, the Prime Minister of Armenia himself published a status on Facebook stating that the Armenian army continues to defend the city. A few hours later it became known that Nikol Pashinyan had signed a trilateral statement on the cessation of hostilities in Karabakh. According to this document, Shushi passed to the Azerbaijani side.
“Iskander should have been used on the fourth day of the war”
Sargsyan accused the Armenian authorities of not using Iskander systems at the main stage of the war in Karabakh.
They were used only at the end of the war, and they fired from them at Shushi, the ex-president shared information from his ‘reliable sources’:
“But why there were no strikes on the territory of Azerbaijan itself? I can assume that they were afraid of retaliation. Perhaps not by means of the same accuracy or range. But Iskander had to be used already on the fourth or fifth day of the war, when Azerbaijan accumulated a huge amount of manpower in Horadiz and in other areas.”
The ex-president also wonders why long-range strikes were not delivered to oil and gas infrastructures:
“I am not saying that the first target should have been the pipeline. But in the end, why did we buy these missiles? Not to use at the right time? The Iskanders are ours, and we are the only ones to whom the ally gave such weapons. And we didn’t use them.”
“Not even half of the army of Armenia participated in the war”
The defense army of Karabakh was practically left alone to face the adversary, the armed forces of Armenia were not fully involved in the war, Serzh Sargsyan said:
“We are constantly told that there were more Azerbaijanis, the forces were too unequal. Well, why wasn’t the Armenian army involved then? I know that even half of the Armenian army was not transferred to the combat zone.”
Sargsyan called the talks about the Armenian army defending its borders ‘fairy tales’. In his opinion, they could be protected with the help of an ally – Russia.
The ex-president believes that Armenia should have asked Russia to take on this function, explaining that it sends its army to Karabakh, as it is the guarantor of its security.
“Aliyev defeated not the Armenian army, but Pashinyan”
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in January that he “defeated the army of Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan.”
Commenting on this statement, Sargsyan noted that Aliyev had a complex due to the fact that over the past ten years he has always lost to the Armenian side – both in negotiations and during the “four-day” war in Karabakh in 2016:
“In fact, Aliyev defeated the incapacitated authorities of Armenia. It was not the Armenian army or the Armenian people that capitulated. The Prime Minister of Armenia and his team capitulated … The capitulator did not serve in the army for a day.”
“Relations with neighbors are ruined”
There were no condemnations against Azerbaijan because of the outbreak of hostilities in Karabakh. Moreover, Georgia and Iran closed the airspace, since, according to Sargsyan, Armenia has managed to spoil relations not only with its strategic ally, Russia, but also with neighboring countries over the past two years:
“When you, violating the laws of your own country, do not meet at the airport the head of a UN member state [talking about the President of Russia], who is also your ally, then you give fakes and sites of unknown origin to point out that you allegedly increased this the sovereignty of the country, you must understand that tomorrow you will be punished. When you enter into secret negotiations behind the backs of others, you must understand that tomorrow these others will change their attitude towards you.
When you have violated all diplomatic norms, trying to make a personal decision and endanger the authority of the CSTO, you must understand that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow you will have problems. “
Sargsyan is not going to occupy leadership positions anymore
“I consider my service in high positions in the state system completed. Many will say that I said the same thing in 2015, but I became prime minister [in 2018], but this is a topic for a separate interview, ”Sargsyan said.
And yet he is not going to leave active politics.