Domestic Perturbation Threatens To Shake Armenian Government & Plunge Region Into Chaos

Fuad Muxtarlı Analysis 4 May 2020
Domestic Perturbation Threatens To Shake Armenian Government & Plunge Region Into Chaos

Armenia is being plunged into a new chaos and the key actors are more or less obvious, representing various forces vying for power. This confrontation pledges to be quite bloody, serious and inevitable as the Kremlin is determined to bring its outpost back under proper control.

As the Pashinyan government is failing to live up to the ardent expectations of the poverty-ridden tiny nation, new actors are to emerge as time goes and once the threat of the Covid-19 disappears, the struggle would be frantic and grim.

The current situation in Armenia can be characterized differently, and statistics, numbers and calculations provided prove the inevitability of aggravation of the situation. One can describe the situation as recession, crisis and even negative growth coupled with the coronavirus pandemic and worsening economic growth in Russia and consequently decreasing money flows to Armenia.

On the other hand, the crime situation is deteriorating and various groups take the law into their own hands, punishing those who cross their rad. Deputy chair of the Republican Party of Armenia Armen Ashotyan on his Facebook page described the situation in Armenia very expressively: “This is a madhouse.” Moreover, if I thickened the colors, then not by much. However, judge for yourself.

Nikol Pashinyan’s team renewed the attack on their political opponents – the ex-head of the National Security Council of Armenia, Artur Vanetsyan, and the ex-ambassador of Armenia to Italy and the Vatican, son-in-law of ex-president, Serzh Sargsyan, Mikael Minasyan.

The spokeswoman for the prime minister, Mane Gevorgyan, announced that Pashinyan’s office has information that Minasyan illegally acquired shares of Spayk company, Yerevan Mall trading centre, Shant and Armenia TV companies through front-end equity holders, “after the revolution in 2018, all these shares were sold in a hurry", and "the shares of the Zangazur Copper-Molybdenum Combine, for example, with obvious abuse of power and, again, with the help of fraudulent holders, were acquired by the former head of the NSC, Artur Vanetsyan," according to the Armenian media.

Artur Vanetsyan, who became the security chief under the Pashinyan government, who later resigned and was blamed, did not tolerate and responded. According to him, the accusations against him were designed to distract attention from a much more important question that is from the phased or package resolution, being discussed at the talks.

Armenian MP Hrachya Hakobyan joined the discussions around Artur Vanetsyan by declaring that the “season of interesting questions” is open, hinting at a skeleton in the closet about Vanetsyan, who is believed by Russia.

And then he reminded the head of the SNB of the scandalous “drain” of wiretapping, where he was discussing with the head of the Special Investigation Service, Sasun Khachatryan, the arrest of the CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov, who was in effect at that time: could it one day become clear that Vanetsyan was recruited by foreign intelligence agencies, and it’s the reason for his removal from office?

Further, the parliamentarian continues, can it turn out that Pashinyan, under the pressure of facts, forced him to admit the fact of recruitment by foreign intelligence services? In addition, all this is against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic: the number of COVID-19 infections exceeded 2,500 with 39 deaths.

Armenia was also hit by a series of murders, which, occurred in the village of Gavar, Gegharkunik Marz, a firefight broke out first in the best traditions of old Chicago: two deaths, several wounded. Then a new shocking round: a crowd rushes into the Gevar hospital and tried to kill the wounded though some sources, they cut their throats. Then came reports that the vice speaker of the Armenian parliament, Armen Simonyan, and the head of the Adekvad party, Artur Danielyan, had a brawl on the street. The latter was in the hospital, fortunately, they didn’t try to finish him there.

Here is what Armenia’s Hetq.am news agency said.

Armenia’s Investigative Committee (IC) reports that fifteen people have already been arrested on suspicion of participating in a shootout and subsequent attack on a Gavar hospital on April 28 that resulted in the death of two and the wounding of four.

The IC, in a statement, says that another three people will be arrested on similar charges. The trouble started with a shootout between two groups of armed men that left two dead and several others wounded. The wounded were taken to a Gavar hospital. Several hours later, friends and relatives of the murdered men broke through a police cordon and rushed into the hospital. They are reported to have smashed windows and doors. The IC says the attackers stabbed two of the wounded individuals and another man who they believed were responsible for the killings. Gavar, a town of some 20,000, is the provincial capital of Gegharkunik, Hetq.am news agency said

It is clear that all these are classic external signs of the collapse of the state administration system. It has many components: the political bankruptcy of Nikol Pashinyan and his team, who made thunderous speeches at rallies, but they simply were unable to solve the problems facing Armenia, and the fact that Nikol Pashinyan instead of real work to improve the situation in Armenia arranged “political vendetta”, the redistribution of property and ordered lawsuits that the police and other law enforcement agencies are turning into an instrument for settling political accounts, and as a result, they are lacking manpower and resources to withstand the crime...

Armenia is at war with Azerbaijan and has occupied around 20 percent of the latter’s territory and still poses a grave threat. Armenia does not want to de-occupy Azerbaijan’s internationally-recognized lands, and instead of preparing the people for peace, the Armenian political dealers prefer to compete in “rattling their tongues” in the style of “Karabakh is Armenia, period!”

Second, and ultimately, the erosion and decay of everything and all in this country have reached the point where Armenia is turning into a sort of “hornet’s nest,” by creating a direct and real threat to its neighbors, when coronavirus remains the most serious danger. Much more dangerous is the permanent game with fire both on the front line in Karabakh and on undisturbed sections of the state border with Azerbaijan. Finally, as the example of Syria, Iraq, and Libya shows, such a failed state would very quickly be taken control of by terrorists.

The traditions of political terror go as far back as the XIX century. Today, the Sasna Tsrer party, created by ASALA militants, is operating in Armenia and in territories allied with Armenia.

In the context of the real conflict with Azerbaijan, hawks remain hazardous for regional nations of Turkey, Georgia, enjoying tacit approval by the Persian regime and all-out backing of Russia. The latter inspires Armenian nationalists to provocations against Turkey and to the main pipelines and railways, carrying Azerbaijani oil and gas to the world markets via Georgia and Turkey. Radicals regularly threaten to strike them and destabilize the whole region by plunging it into a chaos that benefits Iran, Russia and other countries. In this situation, what Armen Ashotyan called the "madhouse" turns into a direct and clear threat to the entire region.

Under this situation, the scenario becomes more and more likely, in which Azerbaijan and, possibly, Turkey will have to carry out a purge not only in Karabakh, but also on the territory of Armenia itself. Ironically, the restoration of historical borders in the region does not only mean the unification of the territories of Karabakh and present-day Armenia into a single state.

In this case, the residents of Iravan, Gyumri, and other cities on the territory of the former Iravan khanate will receive something that they have not had for several decades: peace, investment, responsible and capable authorities instead of the current "madhouse", a real fight against coronavirus and crime and terror coupled with cultural autonomy and broad local government.

Azerbaijan is a strong and established state, and Azerbaijan will have enough forces and means to restore order in this part of its historical lands. The main thing is not to interfere.

Subsequently, the former head of special services of Armenia announces big political changes in the country. The former director of the National Security Service of Armenia, Artur Vanetsyan, predicted big political changes, Sputnik-Armenia reports.

“Given the recent domestic political events, I’m sure that in the near future major political events await us, and your work will be the most popular and appreciated,” Vanetsyan wrote.

“Vanetsyan noted that truth, free speech, independent media are one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind and are a pillar of values on which democracy is based. He is sure that a democratic future awaits Armenia, but this requires free and principled media. Vanetsyan also noted that recent events have shown that the media will not stop under pressure or artificially created difficulties,” according to the report.