December 10 marks the 30th anniversary of the referendum on the independence of Artsakh. Tevan Poghosyan, head of the International Center for Human Development, reminded about this in his interview to “Golos Armenii”.
“We have not yet explained to the world how we evaluate these processes ourselves.”
– In light of Aliyev’s demand (after the Sochi meeting and before the talks in Brussels) to name the timing of the so-called “Zangezur Corridor”, is it generally appropriate to talk about regional security in relation to the interests of Iran and Russia?
– Aliyev has been talking about readiness to take the so-called “Zangezur corridor” by force for a long time. I don’t see any difference between the December 6 statement and the one announced a couple of months ago. Bayramov described the events of November 16 as coercion with the use of military force to ensure that Armenia fulfills its promises. Against the background of all the previous statements, there is no, and there can be no illusion, that Azerbaijan will change something in its position.
Baku since the 90s. last century pursues a policy aimed at ousting Armenians from their territories. The appeal to the interests of other countries, in my opinion, is not entirely justified: was the Azerbaijani leadership interested in the reaction of regional players to the aggression against the Republic of Artsakh on September 27, 2020? Why could something change after the Sochi meeting? We need to look at things systematically …
– For example, in the system of attempts by the collective West to oust Russia from the South Caucasus?
– In this system, I am only interested in the position of Armenia and the Armenian people. A policy of repression and annihilation is being pursued against us, the context plays a secondary role. We need to start with our interests and our capabilities to ensure our security. The situation is not at all unique, it is all about the same war that did not end in 1994. And the tasks are the same that the state has always faced, both in terms of concentration of resources and in terms of finding allies. This is how the state should behave …
– The state would not ignore your initiative to recognize at the legislative level the fact of the occupation of the territory of the Republic of Artsakh, because the parliament of Artsakh also ignored it?
– December 10 will mark the 30th anniversary of the referendum on independence, but I have a feeling that the people have no idea how to celebrate this day, including in Artsakh itself! From May 12, not only the parliament of the Republic of Artsakh, but also the parliament of Armenia can adopt a law “On the occupation of Armenian lands.” We have not yet announced to the world how we ourselves assess these processes.
Today we are reaping the fruits of those actions that were not taken back in the 90s. of the last century, and the current situation looks like this: two people were talking in the room, and after a while one of them announced that the second must fulfill his promise.
“Azerbaijan will continue to stake on a military solution …”
– No one doubts that Pashinyan could have given any promises: is it about another betrayal of national interests?
– If it was only about the fact that he said something wrong somewhere, then by his subsequent steps it would be possible to judge the intention to somehow get out of the situation. For example, if he began to concentrate the potential of the nation, discuss scenarios, weigh the prospects … But this is not the case, which means that Azerbaijan will continue to stake on a forceful solution. There is a way to deliberately leave and take with you what he said under pressure or out of stupidity, so that other leaders would come to power – those who did not promise anything to Aliyev. The game needs to be changed with a new negotiator, but we don’t have one.
– That is, the creeping occupation, which led to the positional war on November 16, can at any moment be replaced by a dash of the invaders deep into the territory of Armenia?
– I believe that it will be so, Aliyev stated this quite specifically. If we do not take proactive steps, this is a very real prospect. Immediate decisions are needed, and they must come from the nation …
– But the opposition-minded part of the nation has delegated the powers of the parliamentary opposition, hasn’t it?
– I recently wrote a status in which I stated with pain that the only way to preserve Armenia and Artsakh is membership in the Russia-Belarus Union State. I repeat, I stated this with pain, but this is the least of evils, and the scenario that can be implemented with the least loss for us.
– Is Pashinyan trying to transfer the decision on the second betrayal to the Deputy Prime Minister?
– What difference does it make who signs what. What difference does it make who and how will call the road “Zangezur Corridor” or otherwise, the essence is in the content. If Armenia provides a road that will be controlled by Russian rather than Armenian border guards, then what will it give? Who controls the Lachin corridor today? Russian divisions. Drive through this corridor, then you will understand what it is when they stop you 7-10 times, force you to open the trunk, check your documents and without any explanation say that you cannot enter Artsakh. Then you will understand what a “corridor” is.
If the same happens on the territory of Armenia, is this a “corridor” or not a “corridor”? It is no coincidence that the vice-premiers could not agree …
“There is a war in all directions”
– Mher Grigoryan said that the negotiations will continue, despite this, do you exclude the repetition of the scenario on November 16 on a larger scale?
– This probability always remains. If there was no shooting today, it still cannot be called the world. There is a diplomatic war going on, an information war going on, a war going on in all directions …
– And in this war, Pashinyan has already captured and put all the experienced organizers of Syunik’s self-defense in prison cells. This is no coincidence, isn’t it? What is the root of evil – in the personality of the capitulator?
– In the current situation, no one can be arrested, human resources are needed to protect our borders. And the root of evil is in the absence of state thinking, moreover, time has been lost since 1991, when every day we were obliged to cultivate the sprouts of state consciousness and national identity in order to consolidate the concept of national statehood in generations …
– Statehood has been destroyed by Pashinyan for more than three and a half years, – from the army to the Armenian language …
– It breaks state institutions, state thinking cannot disappear in such a short time, I am talking about the mass consciousness, in which the Armenian statehood is not fixed as an enduring value.
– Do you think the Resistance Movement and the Liberation Movement will succeed in overthrowing the dictatorship?
– Maybe it will be possible for social reasons. Nothing is impossible. We must have a national dream. It is good that you mentioned these movements, today every Armenian should ask himself: why am I not with them now? If the people had state consciousness, then these movements would be very numerous.
– And who are you with today? And why did you cease your activity as an adviser to President Armen Sarkissian, did he cease to need your advice?
– I am next to everyone who initiates some processes. As for the councils, I was an adviser to the president on a voluntary basis, and before that I worked in the Artsakh Foreign Ministry, was the representative of Artsakh in the United States, was a member of parliament. If the president needs my advice, he will call. There are more important questions today.
– For example, demarcation and delimitation of borders …
– This question has always been, no one removed it from the agenda of the negotiations, it just did not reach him. Since 1994, the border with Azerbaijan has been delimited and de facto demarcated. What will this process give de jure, when there is no certainty that in this case the border will pass in such a way that the Azerbaijani troops will leave the territory of Armenia ?!
Only Armenian soldiers can withdraw foreign soldiers from the territory of Armenia. Nobody will fight for us. We had a delimited and demarcated border, which we never recognized as our own. The only country with which Armenia had no borders was the Republic of Artsakh. All other borders were de facto delimited and demarcated.
Marina Mkrtchyan, “The Voice of Armenia”