Ex-President Robert Kocharian: serious processes are going on, and they are not in favor of Armenia
Ex-President of Armenia Robert Kocharian harshly criticized the current authorities. During his press conference, which lasted about two hours, he accused Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of ill-considered steps that led to the war in Karabakh and eventual defeat. Moreover, he suggested that the war ended in accordance with hidden agreements with the enemy.
The most important theses voiced during the press conference of the former president, acting in the role of irreconcilable opposition to the current authorities.
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The beginning of the war
- The Armenian authorities, with their ill-considered steps, created favorable conditions for Azerbaijan to resolve the Karabakh conflict by means of violent conflict
- The negotiation process was stalled by the conflicting statements of the Armenian side. This aroused mistrust on the part of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs [mediators of peace talks before the start of the Karabakh war in autumn 2020 – JAMnews]. The impression is that the Armenian authorities want to avoid substantive negotiations
- The army was discredited, the government of the country was chaotic, relations with Russia and the CSTO military bloc operating under its auspices were ruined.
- The authorities did everything to ensure that Armenia was isolated before the start of the war
- In this situation, it was clear to the Azerbaijani authorities that there would be no better conditions for resolving the conflict by force, and the risks for starting and conducting a war for him were minimal.
- The Armenian leadership did everything to involve Turkey in this conflict:
“If the Armenian authorities were Turkish agents, they would do the same to achieve this goal”.
Reasons for Armenia’s defeat
- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s call for the formation of volunteer units during the war was a signal for Azerbaijan that Armenia no longer has resources and military pressure on the front can be increased
- It is not armies that are fighting, but states, which is why the authorities mobilize all resources for victory during hostilities. But the supreme commander-in-chief of Armenia [Prime Minister Pashinyan] did not mobilize all human and material resources. The mobilization failed. This is the first reason for defeat
- The war is waged by the state, not just the armed forces. The army was left without political support during the hostilities
- The Armenian authorities want to place all the blame for the defeat on the army but it is necessary to understand who made the fundamental mistakes. And it’s time for the generals to speak, otherwise all the blame will be laid on them.
- The country’s authorities continue to evade clarifications on a number of issues related to the war. The accusations against them remain unanswered. An in-depth investigation is needed
- It is very likely that the war began due to the shortsightedness of the Armenian authorities, but it may have ended already in accordance with the agreements with the enemy.
On the Karabakh issue
- The Armenian authorities stopped talking about Nagorno-Karabakh. The solution of all issues related to Karabakh is deliberately shifted to Russia:
“Armenia has ceased to be the guarantor of the security of Karabakh, moreover, it seems that the country’s authorities seem to be washing their hands”.
- Soon the society will connect all issues on Karabakh with the Russian side, including all unfavorable decisions
- Baku announces that it has finally solved the Karabakh issue. What will happen if Azerbaijan abandons the mandate of the peacekeepers in Karabakh after the end of their mission [in 2025]
- It is impossible to talk about the beginning of an era of peace when you cannot establish it in your country:
“We are talking about an era of peace in the region [Prime Minister Pashinyan stated this as the plans of his government]. The question arises: “Seriously?” […] What are you [addressing the Armenian Prime Minister] to make such statements? Funny. You are not sitting at the negotiating table, you are at this table. You are being discussed without your participation. You have ceased to be a subject of negotiations, you are an object”.
- It is not very convenient to negotiate on your knees, and you cannot negotiate with the one who mocks you [talking about the President of Azerbaijan].
Relations with Turkey
- Serious processes are taking place in the South Caucasus, and they are not in favor of Armenia
- You cannot beg for the normalization of relations with Turkey. The Prime Minister of Armenia needs this only to maintain power [Nikol Pashinyan spoke of his readiness to normalize relations with Turkey]. It will be a one-sided game, and it will be the gates of Armenia:
“We will be in the role of a supplicant. This has never happened before. At one time, they themselves turned to me as the President of Armenia, trying to create a commission. All these letters are there. You can see for yourself in what tone we then answered them. “
- Turkey poses a danger to Armenia, obviously a clash of interests, but this does not mean that it is necessary to completely abandon the dialogue with Ankara.
The power struggle will continue
- The ultimate goal of the current Armenian authorities is to retain power
- The opposition, represented by the Hayastan parliamentary bloc (Armenia) [Robert Kocharian heads it, does not take part in its work himself, renounced his parliamentary mandate] will continue to fight for a change of power. This is a process, and all the available tools for a change of power will be used:
“Yes, we will fight, we will also fight in the streets, but the necessary conditions must be ripe for this. We need to work with the people throughout Armenia, we need to convince the people. “
- If the bloc fails to organize a street fight, this will mean that it has not been possible to find the right words to speak with society, or people have accepted, reconciled with what is happening.
Nikol Pashinyan has always presented himself as an opposition politician, he was the leader of the 2018 velvet revolution, which brought him to power. Under pressure from the society that supported the revolution, the parliamentary majority approved his candidacy for the post of Prime Minister of Armenia.
The future prime minister made his first serious steps in the political arena in 2007, founding the social and political initiative “Alternative”. In the 2008 parliamentary elections, he was number one on the list of the Impeachment bloc, which sought the resignation of President Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. But the block failed to overcome the barrier to entry.
In the 2008 presidential elections, Nikol Pashinyan represented the interests of presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan [the first president of Armenia, resigned in 1998]. On March 1, 2008, after the dispersal of a demonstration of those who disagreed with the election results and the death of 10 people in the events, Pashinyan went underground for a year and four months due to charges of organizing mass riots.
On July 1, 2010, he voluntarily appeared in the prosecutor’s office, was arrested and sentenced to seven years. One year and 11 months later, he fell under an amnesty timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence. Political analysts believe that the authorities were forced to take this step under pressure from international structures. Immediately after coming to power, the Pashinyan government revived the so-called “March 1” case.
On July 28, 2018, Robert Kocharian was arrested. The former president of Armenia was accused of overthrowing the constitutional order. This was related to the events of March 1, 2008. Kocharian spent over a year in prison. As a result, he was acquitted on the basis of the decision of the Constitutional Court on the unlawfulness of the accusation.