Ex-President Kocharian shares his opinion on resolving Armenia's problems
Ex-president Robert Kocharian shared his thoughts about the current political situation in Armenia at a press conference of the Hayastan bloc which he leads. The bloc was created on the eve of early parliamentary elections, and the former president will be running for the post of prime minister.
During a short press conference, Kocharian stated that the bloc headed by him intends to “wear down” the rating of the current head of government Nikol Pashinyan before the elections. The ex-president also commented on the tense situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Early parliamentary elections are scheduled for June 20 in Armenia. The authorities and the opposition have come to the conclusion that only elections can resolve the political crisis that arose after the Karabakh war. After the defeat of Armenia, the opposition demanded the resignation of the prime minister. But Nikol Pashinyan said that he was elected by a popular vote and would not leave at the request of only opposition supporters. As a result, he agreed with the opposition to hold new elections.
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A plan to wear down Pashinyan’s ratings
The ex-president admits that the current authorities and Nikol Pashinyan personally have a good rating, and Kocharian is not inclined to doubt the honesty of the people conducting the opinion polls. As per the latest data, the rating of the ruling party is estimated at 27%.
Robert Kocharian stated that his bloc is determined to change these numbers before the elections:
“We are confident that, by only having 25-30% in parliament, it is impossible to reproduce and form a government if the parliament is not ready to cooperate with it. Even if we fail to reduce this 30% to 15-20%, this political force will still not be able to form a government and control the executive branch. It is obvious. But we will wear down its ratings”.
Moreover, the former president does not see any political forces that are both “ready to cooperate with traitors and capable of getting into parliament”.
Key to resolving the Karabakh conflict
The key to resolving the issue is in the hands of Russia, the first president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan said the other day, while speaking about the solution of the Karabakh conflict.
Meanwhile, Robert Kocharian, whom many consider being Russia’s most desirable candidate for the post of Armenian Prime Minister, said that he does not agree with this statement. The ex-president recognizes the significant role of Russia in the settlement of the conflict, in particular, in the cessation of hostilities in the fall of 2020, but he does not support such a primitive interpretation of the situation:
“This is not a question which only has one solution. This is an oversimplified interpretation. There are parties to the conflict, there are actors involved, there are three co-chairs”.
The three co-chairs are Russia, the United States, and France. Until the second Karabakh war in 2020, peace negotiations on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict were held in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship and Armenia is in favor of its renewal.
The ex-president stated that Azerbaijan has serious reasons to rush Armenia in the issue of border delimitation. But Armenia should not build its agenda under pressure from Azerbaijan, which also has preferences for the future leadership of Armenia:
“The delimitation will definitely have an impact on the restoration of the negotiation process and resolving of the conflict. Of course, one should not be afraid of delimitation in itself but it is quite problematic to carry it out right now”.
The issue of delimitation and demarcation of borders became acute after May 12, when the Azerbaijani Armed Forces advanced their positions several kilometers deep into the territory of Armenia and refused to retreat, despite the demands of the Armenian side. Armenia is trying to get the Azerbaijani troops to leave its sovereign territory through peaceful negotiations but so far they have not led to any changes. Tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remains high.
Kocharian stated that as long as Azerbaijan has certain expectations from Armenia, such crises will reoccur.
Kocharian believes that the situation should be resolved primarily through negotiations, but if Armenia “does not show its teeth to the enemy” in settling this incident, a similar situation may arise on other sections of the border. At the same time, Kocharian thinks that Armenia itself should solve its problems and take steps to ensure the security of its borders, instead of just waiting for help to come.