Armenia’s prime minister has failed and resigned after 11 days of protests
There were scenes of jubilation and happiness on this Monday in the Armenian capital Yerevan after the protests forced the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. Opposition supporters accused Sargsyan who was made prime minister last week after serving 10 years as president of clinging power.
“The street movement is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand,” Serzh Sargsyan said in a statement. In his statement published on his website, Serzh Sargsyan said he was “addressing all citizens of the Republic of Armenia… for the last time as leader of the country.”
“Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong,” he said. “The situation has several solutions, but I will not take any of them… I am leaving office of the country’s leader, of prime minister.”
People in this South Caucasus country are tired of constantly being subjected to the terror of the authorities, living in eternal fear of being robbed, humiliated, and even killed. In order, assess objectively what is happening, a little digression into the past is needed, about ten years before the current events. It was then, in March 2008, that Serzh Sargsyan became the absolute master of the country. He was not only the president of the Armenia, namely the owner. He achieved this at the cost of the execution of a people who did not choose him and flooded the streets of the capital in protest against this appointment.
Now, exactly ten years later, having falsified the results of the referendum on changes in the Constitution, Serzh Sargsyan secured “grounds” for another seizure of power in the now parliamentary republic in order to remain the same sovereign owner of the country.
For Serzh Sargsyan, who is one of the perpetrators of the entrenchment of the suffocating situation in the Republic of Armenia, the fate of his power remains crucial. Over the past few years, he tried to retain his authoritative power. Preservation of the dominant position is not only numerous preferences for his family and environment, but also insurance against bringing to responsibility for the numerous crimes committed.
The trick with constitutional reform, conceived by Serzh Sargsyan for the sake of preserving power, with its painful finale indicates that the official Yerevan remains in the trajectory of militarization. Power, addicted to the use of force in solving all problems, remains faithful to the policy of threats and blackmail.
Thanks to Sargsyan’s efforts, Armenia is self-isolated country in the South Caucasus region due to its unreasonable territorial claims against neighboring states Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia. Mainly because of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and the ongoing military aggression, Armenia has remained largely outside the main geopolitical, geo-economic, transport and other projects, associated with the gas and oil resources of the Caspian Sea, as well as the Great Silk Road, a great trade route originating in China.
At the present stage, Armenia is the most backward and dependent country in the South Caucasus. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia has been completely dependent on Russia’s foreign policy and foreign economic ambitions, as well as on the vagaries of the world Armenian diaspora.
Geopolitically Armenia is Russia’s outpost in the South Caucasus. However, Armenia has no way out: this country has made its own enemies, so it is forced to cooperate with Russia. The Armenian economy is in a deplorable state; it determines and will be determined by the fact that Armenia is slowly becoming a full satellite of Russia. Moscow is Armenia’s main foreign trade partner and in fact the only guarantor of its security. Although the security guarantee is a controversial concept, not all can trust it in Armenia. However at the same time Russia ranks first among the investors in the Armenian economy.
Armenia, a small country with a population of 2.5 million, has been in the position of geopolitical isolation in recent years. Armenia survives thanks to the rich Armenian diaspora (private transfers account for two billion dollars a year) and sponsorship of the US Congress. However, nowadays even the diaspora no longer helps Armenia, as it is dissatisfied with the way President Serzh Sargsyan is robbing the Armenian people, and with the country’s mafia clans and corrupt officials’ rule. Armenia’s great dependence on the outside world, which has overstepped all permissible norms, can seriously impede the realization of opportunities in the future.
Over the past ten years, during the presidency of Sargsyan, Armenia’s external debt has grown by more than 300 percent and now accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP. With the increasing external debt in comparison with the real income, Armenia is likely to face a full default. International financial institutions have repeatedly expressed their concern about this. Despite the fact that the country indicates the poverty level at 32 percent, in reality this figure exceeds 60 percent. Despite the funds raised from abroad, there is no sustainable development in the country; an economic base and structure have not been created.
If you take into account that any economy is a concentrated expression of the implemented policy, the main reason for all Armenian misfortunes becomes obvious. The country is torn apart by uncompromising strife within the power elite. Regardless of budget, how it is formed in the government and how it is justified, the country’s population can get only crumbs. It is impossible to patch a gap in the budget owing to the lack of means, and mainly due to a total embezzlement and irrational profiling of the proceeds.
The lawlessness and impunity, initiated by the authorities of the country, brought the situation to the point that non-professionals and incompetent amateurs took the country’s destiny into their hands. They were those to whom the former field commander of the Karabakh separatists and terrorists Serzh Sargsyan pays tribute for their “combat merits”.In addition, this circle of so-called personalities, mainly, is formed by people from Nagorno-Karabakh, through which President Sargsyan has built his “military political column”.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of strategy and tactics, due to Sargsyan’s unreasoned political and economic policy, the people of Armenia are suffering and their number is gradually decreasing. It is not excluded that neighboring countries also suffer from such a policy.
The official average salary in Armenia is 185,000 drams (340 dollars), but apart from oligarchs, the majority earns slightly more than half of this amount. The statistics show that 18 percent of people are unemployed (anti-record of the post-Soviet republics), and 29.8 percent of Armenians live below the poverty line, which is not surprising considering the local pension of 41,000 drams (about $80). At the same time, for the gas alone, Yerevan residents have to pay up to 60,000 drams (about $116) in winter and up to 20,000 drams (about $40) in summer. It is necessary to ask Sargsyan how the Armenian people should survive at all. Of course, at the expense of relatives living in foreign countries, but not everyone has such relatives.
In a sense, regular aid is not only a salvation, but also a curse of the republic. Despite the fact that remittances in rubles, dollars and euros allow people to survive, they also deprive them of the motivation to grow. The average Armenian permanently residing in the country prefers to send his child abroad to earn money rather than build his own career. And the young people who move abroad and taste a better life and freedom, don’t want to return to Armenia and don’t want to die in the occupied foreign territory (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Today it is already a historical fact that the Armenian armed forces and mercenary units spared no one of those who did not manage to leave Khojaly and its environs. Because of the brutality of the Armenian armed forces, Azerbaijani women, children and the elderly have taken hostages and subjected to unprecedented tortures, insults and humiliations. The deliberate mass slaughter of the Khojaly residents have carried out for only one reason – because they were Azerbaijanis. Together with the representatives of the Israeli media, I met few times with the Khojaly act of genocide survivors, who have captured by the Armenian armed forces. Believe me, they told terrible things about Armenian savagery that it is even shameful to write about it. They showed us signs of torture. Then I had meetings with individuals and they told what they were ashamed to tell openly to all the people and the media.
It is historical fact that Serzh Sargsyan was one of the perpetrators of Khojaly massacre. Khojaly massacre is not only a crime against the Azerbaijani people, it is a crime against humanity. This is a sorrow for innocent Azerbaijanis, who had their own stories, families, childhood, dreams and future, which was cut short because of this bloody massacre perpetrated by the Armenian armed forces. The relatives of the victims have one common pain: those who had committed this terrible crime against humanity have not been prosecuted by international court and have remained unpunished. Unlike the consequences of World War II, when the majority of the Nazis faced the international court at the Nuremberg trial, ideologists and executors of the mass slaughter of peaceful Azerbaijani citizens in Khojaly live freely in the modern Republic of Armenia.
I appeal to a civilized world, which is liked to talk about human rights and democracy. What was the fault of 63 children who had lived in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly and were killed by the Armenian fascists? They were just innocent children who started to live and some of them even did not have time to make the first steps. They wanted to play toys, enjoy life, hug their fathers and mothers, be happy with their parents, go to kindergarten and school. The Armenian fascists and terrorists took their lives. The only “fault” of these innocent children was that they were Azerbaijanis.
Many of the organizers and ideologists of Khojaly genocide even today occupy high positions in Armenia, including former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, former President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and former President Robert Kocharian. Each of the above-mentioned politicians participated in the atrocities and slaughter of the Azerbaijani population in Khojaly, and just like the Nazis, they should answer for their actions in international court.
There are a lot of materials and video documents as well as testimonies provided by witnesses of the tragedy, which confirm the participation of the above-mentioned high-ranking officials of the Republic of Armenia in Khojaly massacre. Unlike the Nazis who tried to hide their crimes, some of these individuals gave interviews to foreign media. In these interviews, they justified and boasted their barbarous criminal acts against Azerbaijanis in Khojaly. We are sure that the rule of these so-called “politicians” will also end in failure, as it had happened with the Nazis.
All the recent statements and real actions of Serzh Sargsyan, as well as his failed internal and external policy, once again prove that he is an absolutely irresponsible and shortsighted politician. He remained the same terrorist who accidentally rose to the forefront of the political life of Armenia on the wave of Karabakh separatism.
In all his speeches far from diplomacy, Sargsyan tries to justify the aggressive policy of his country, proving that in fact he remains the same Sargsyan, who is completely alien to such concepts as diplomacy and international relations, which once again confirms low level of his education and political culture.
Official Baku has long made it clear that the current status in this conflict with Armenia is unacceptable. The events of April 2016, when the armed forces of Azerbaijan responded harshly, crushing the Armenian armed forces, once again showed that official Yerevan must understand that Azerbaijan’s patience is at the breaking point. In addition, official Baku, according to the norms of international law, has the right not only to defend itself, but also to liberate the territories occupied by Armenia.
It is quite clear that Sargsyan’s hypocrisy has no limits. It is said that honesty in politics is the result of strength, and hypocrisy is the result of weakness. Unfortunately, it is a fact that Sargsyan, who accidentally fell on the forefront of Armenian politics, despite the second cadence as the president of Armenia, continues to think as a terrorist deprived of state thinking and a global view of world processes. All these facts once again prove Armenia’s unwillingness to live in peace with neighboring states, in particular with Azerbaijan. Therefore, there has been no real breakthrough in negotiations, which have been lasting for more than 26 years.
The last events in Yerevan has ended Serzh Sargsyan’s epoch. Nearly two weeks of political drama in Armenia have ended with downfall of its prime minister. Sargsyan abruptly resigned just a few days after being appointed by Armenian parliament. Armenia’s opposition leader has demanded a snap parliamentary election in the wake of former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation over widespread anti-government demonstrations.
The Armenian people have done 11 day protests and new Prime Minister of Armenian Serzh Sargsyan has failed and resigned. In this connection, we have an obvious question: Who will lead Armenia in the near future? Which path will be chosen Armenia in the future: relationships with the West or will remain with the East? It can take a step there, with whom it will be profitable for it to continue on the path of self-destruction-the creation of the mythical “Great Armenia “, in which only Armenian nationalists believe. It is groundless and not realistic.
However, it can choose way to the West, according to Georgia’s model and flourish. Then Armenia should go on a democratic path, get out of the way nationalism and chauvinism, who served a bad service of Armenia and led it into a dead end.
Armenia should also cease making territorial claims to neighboring states and participate in building “South Caucasian Peaceful House.”