Nikol Pashinyan

Nikol Pashinyan

The victory of Pashinyan's team in the early parliamentary elections can be considered a sensation. This came as a surprise not only for foreign observers and experts abroad but many in Armenia as well.

The first comments of experts go to the fact that the hidden hatred of the former authorities and the Karabakh people proved to be  stronger than the negative attitude towards Pashinyan.

As a matter of fact, the results of the elections are indicative that the Armenian society is not ready for hardships for the sake of Karabakh, nor willing the "revenge". This conclusion is of paramount importance to mean the weakening of the "war party" influence, both in Armenia and Karabakh.

As a result, the outflow of confrontation supporters with Azerbaijan and Turkey will increase from Armenia while the Dashnak leaders are expected to face developments typical for the presidency of Levon Ter-Petrosyan.

However, Kocharyan and his supporters are unlikely to give up their positions so easily. Deputy mandates provide them with security guarantees, temporarily though. Active opposition to the Pashinyan's team will inevitably lead to reprisals. A hammer Pashinyan was swinging during the election rallies is sure to break Kocharyan's head sooner or later. The payback is also waiting for the team of Sargsyan and other active opponents of the regime.

As for foreign policy aspects, Armenia is likely to maintain a pro-Western orientation not so much because of Yerevan's aspirations as because of Moscow's sabotage. Russia is unlikely to give up its pressures on Armenia through Karabakh in order to weaken Pashinyan's power. However, this is unlikely to result in attempts to overthrow him. Most likely, the pressure will be focused on full implementation of the agreements of November 10, 2020 and January 11, 2021.

In general, this is in the interests both of Russia and other global players that are vitally interested in preventing a new war and opening transport communications.

As for relations with Azerbaijan, steps are expected to normalize relations; however, pressures of local radicals and opposition will not allow Pashinyan to act actively. First of all, this concerns the issues of delimitation and demarcation of borders, as well as the fate of prisoners.

It has to be kept in mind that much on this track will be dependfent upon first signals from Yerevan to Baku. If the slogans of support for "independence of Karabakh", "secession for salvation", "no corridor in Zangezur", etc. continue, then one cannot talk about overcoming the political crisis in Armenia and excluding the prospects of a new war.

However, at present the major hazard for Pashinyan is not Azerbaijan but pro-Dashnak groups in the army and special services that see no alternative to attain their goals but neutralize him through an attempt.

Shahin Hajiyev


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