Baku is waiting for fundamental changes in the constitutional legislation of Armenia

In a rare and consequential interview aired on Armenian Public Radio on January 31st, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan ignited a fervent debate by questioning the foundational underpinnings of Armenian state policy, sending ripples of unease throughout the nation and its neighbors.

Pashinyan's provocative stance centered on revisiting Armenia's foundational principles, including the landmark resolution of December 1, 1989, which advocated for the reunification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorno-Karabakh. Casting doubt on the wisdom of this historical mandate, Pashinyan cautioned that adherence to such directives could precipitate further conflict, rather than fostering the elusive peace desired by the Armenian people.

Proposing a sweeping overhaul of Armenia's national identity, Pashinyan ventured into contentious territory, suggesting amendments to the Declaration of Independence, the national anthem, the coat of arms, and other symbols deemed emblematic of territorial expansionist aspirations. The Prime Minister's proposition, ostensibly aimed at fostering a more competitive and viable Armenia in a shifting geopolitical landscape, drew sharp rebuke and skepticism, particularly from within Armenia's political establishment.

The fervent reaction to Pashinyan's proposals underscores the deep-seated divisions and sensitivities surrounding issues of national identity and historical grievances in Armenia. Garegin Khumaryan, executive director of Public Radio of Armenia, publicly expressed regret for airing the interview, reflecting widespread discontent over the Prime Minister's remarks.

The push for constitutional reform, spearheaded by Pashinyan and his Civil Contract party, reflects broader calls for modernization and institutional renewal within Armenia. While some political analysts support the need for constitutional amendments to address systemic shortcomings, others caution against abandoning territorial claims, viewing them as integral to Armenia's national identity and security.

Against this backdrop of internal strife and existential questioning, a constitutional commission has been convened in Yerevan to pave the way for a referendum on amending the nation's Basic Law. However, the inclusion of contentious issues, such as territorial claims, in a broader package of constitutional amendments has sparked concerns about the potential for manipulation and obfuscation.

Meanwhile, across the border in Azerbaijan, President Ilham Aliyev's administration closely monitors the unfolding political drama in Armenia. Azerbaijani experts and media commentators have reiterated the stance that genuine peace negotiations cannot proceed without substantive changes in Armenia's approach, particularly regarding territorial claims and historical narratives.

As Armenia grapples with its internal contradictions and external pressures, the nation stands at a crossroads, confronting profound questions about its identity, aspirations, and place in the world. The outcome of this introspective journey will not only shape Armenia's future but reverberate across the volatile Caucasus region, impacting regional stability and geopolitical dynamics for years to come.

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