Владимир Путин и Никол Пашинян Автор: © Михаил Метцель/ТАСС

Владимир Путин и Никол Пашинян Автор: © Михаил Метцель/ТАСС


Question: What is going on in the Armenian inner-political life, in its highest circle?

Ишхан ВердянAnswer: The decisions of the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan are causing bewilderment in Armenia, and each next step is more surprising than the previous one. Gagik Jangiryan's appointment to the Council of Justice would have passed unnoticed if the media hadn't published a video showing two judges (one of them Jangiryan) discussing a criminal deal. After the scandal Jangiryan himself resigned from his new position, and without the scandal he would now be in charge of the legal profession. He is known to have been at the very origins of the Karabakh clan with a huge role in shaping the foundations that still cannot be eradicated in Armenia.

The appointment of General Edward Asriyan as the Chief of General Staff of Armenia also raised a storm of questions in Armenia. The question is that Asriyan is known as the author of an anti-constitutional appeal against Pashinyan, demanding the Prime Minister's resignation.  The officer had no right to make such appeal; all political circles believed it to be a treasonable act against the state. However, Asriyan became the head of the General Staff.

High-profile corruption cases, explicit and ordered without bringing them to court, are closed, and those related to electoral corruption. Nikol Pashinyan promised to fight tooth and nail against such cases, however, obviously ordered cases are dropped without investigating them in court.

Note that oligarchs are again provided with an opportunity to privatize the country's natural monuments for their own purposes. These steps lead the country in the wrong direction. An impression is that Pashinyan is taking the country back to the way it was before him, when legality did not matter, it was people and political interests that mattered.

Question: What is the political situation in Armenia, the result of which is the absence of specific agreements with Baku?

Answer: The situation in Armenia has not changed. The country remains under full economic influence of Russia. The whole economy of Armenia is oriented towards Russia. More so now, when there is a war in Ukraine and a global food crisis is spreading in the world because of the blockade of Ukrainian grain exports. In this situation, Russia may again impose an embargo on the export of its grain, and the Armenians will die of hunger. Armenia has nowhere to buy bread, and neighboring Turkey has no grain of its own. Therefore, Yerevan must remain under Russia's diktat, fulfilling all its wishes in order to avoid Kremlin's "closing" Armenia.

We are aware that all big and not so big opposition leaders of Armenia are in one way or another closely related to Russia, or are its agents. Therefore, Nikol Pashinyan is forced to do everything he is ordered by Moscow, and this also applies to Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. If not doing so he will doom the country to starvation.

Question: Do you believe that the appointments in Yerevan are dictated by the Kremlin?

Answer: I cannot say that unequivocally, I have no information of my own, only a limited group of people can know that. However, we know that people appointed by Pashinyan are obvious corrupt officials, they should not have place in government, yet, they have got high posts.  They maintain good connections with special services, parliament, and parties in Russia. The Party of Gagik Tsarukyan, leader of "Blossoming Armenia", is twinned with United Russia. From this I draw a logical conclusion about Pashinyan's dependence on Moscow. There are certain contradictions. There should not be such a thing in a legal state declared by Pashinyan, but this is a fact, and there are more such examples every day.


Question: Pashinyan's staffing arrangements lead to what? Yerevan's negotiations with Ankara are not rushed but seem to be successful, and there is no progress in the negotiations with Azerbaijan so far. Cadres are appointed for a specific purpose. What is Pashinyan's purpose, judging from his cadres?

Answer: A situation has been created from which Pashinyan will not be able to get out. Coming to power, Nikol Pashinyan had no idea where he was going to, and so he ended up in a situation from which there is no way out. He has no choice but to either leave or adapt. He chose the latter, deciding to lead the ongoing process, to take control of his opponents, to become part of this system. Maybe this is his trick, this is his way of disguising himself, his wish to take a pause for a while because nobody knows what is going to happen in the region tomorrow and what is going to happen in Russia.

I consider this as an non-constructive step for Armenia, for it won't lead to anything good. However, Pashinyan has no other way. Any other politician would do the same in his position.

Question: Tell me the most important thing for the Azerbaijani readers. Where will all this lead to in the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations? Soon the Lachin corridor should be returned to Azerbaijan which has built an alternative road to move Armenians. Can Pashinyan disrupt the transfer of the corridor which is mentioned in the paragraph of the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020?

Answer: The Karabakh conflict is entirely controlled by Russia, this is obvious because it is known whose troops are in Karabakh and to whom its rulers are subordinated. I have no doubt that little depends on Pashinyan and Armenia. The Prime Minister will act as he is ordered, he has no other option, he cannot lead an independent policy, otherwise he will face the problems I mentioned. He will coordinate all his actions with Russia.  I don't know whether Pashinyan will oppose to the return of the Lachin corridor. But I am confident that when the period of Russian forces in Karabakh is over, there will probably be new provocations, new bloodshed, so that Russia will stay in Karabakh. I do not believe that Russia would ever leave Karabakh. Russia will continue acting in the way it is known to us.  We understand this. I do not expect good results unless some radical event takes place. If everything remains as it is, the Karabakh conflict will accompany us for many years.

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