In The Grip Of Chilling Ties With Moscow, Armenian PM Reaches Impasse

Farid Hajili Analysis 12 May 2020
In The Grip Of Chilling Ties With Moscow, Armenian PM Reaches Impasse

The latest revelation that Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan's grandfather allegedly collaborated with the Nazis is just one of numerous facts the Kremlin holds behind closed doors. The warning came soon after Pashinyan's statement that his government is to persuit independent foreign policies and will not be Russia's outpost. 

For over two years Armenians have entrusted their credentials to the revolutionary Pashinyan and this tiny nation seems to be at a crossroads again as reformatting the national destiny is not a new phenomenon for them.

For decades, the powers endowed with power have made one attempt after another to force the world to reckon with itself, as a nation successfully coping with the task of self-affirmation. It seems that they were able to achieve something.

But from all that the political establishment cares about today, one conclusion suggests itself: the process of growing up continues, and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has been developing fresh views on developments at home and abroad. In a nutshell, new tasks have come on the agenda, but are there ways to solve them?

The crux of contextuality is that the tasks do not have a final solution, and this is well-known to the authors of innovations. But their periodic updating allows the national forces to express themselves in a characteristic way. To put it simply, people at the forefront are not winning their minds with intelligence and pragmatism, but with radicalism, as in the past, relying on classical terror.

History repeats itself. Pashinyan raises the bar to a new height to declare the national ego through a change of course, but the goal is the same - the return of national dignity. If so, then it turns out that dignity has been lost, and the blame lies not with the Armenians themselves, but with others.

Building “a completely new foreign policy concept for the sake of achieving consistency” is announced by the prime minister as a new strategic priority. It seems that the goal is noble, and there is no reason to deny this right to the Armenians. But the question is for the sake of its achievement, it is not the center of attraction, not the pole of creative action, but a new center of destabilization that is created.

The main character recognizes publicly the humiliated state of the people, their pernicious dependence on external forces. According to him, Armenia no longer intends to put up with the status of a “third-rate country”, and wants to position itself as a state with which the rest should be considered.

It is obvious that Armenia is unable to stand on a par with self-sufficient nations but the accusatory tone against external actors is surprising, from which it turns out that the culprit of all the troubles of the Armenians is not themselves, but someone else. Is it not because the long-suffering ethnos constantly cultivates the ability to scandal, achieve desired goals through conflict and noisy showdowns?

In noble intentions, the prime minister points out certain risks, trying to encourage compatriots to be on the alert, because a “historical choice” can provoke an aggravation. However, it is interesting to know why the seemingly peaceful civilized move, which the restless and ineffective prime minister wants to be guided by, can lead to aggravations or conflicts?! Moreover, Pashinyan is counting on "constructive and non-conflict relations with the outside world".

Proclaiming a campaign to take on new democratic heights, he counts on the participation of popular forces, on strengthening the ranks of associates and followers, and this is natural. The first who responded to the prime minister’s good intentions were not intellectuals or matured forces, but the Armenian radical hardliner group Sasna Tsrer, the same one that has been on the political path for many years now.

While Pashinyan in parliament shone with a master class of leadership, the leader of the Sasna Tsrer group, Zhirayr Sefilyan, in appropriate transcription revealed the essence of the new premier concept. 

He merely set up circles on an “around the bush” principle, while Sefilyan put everything on the shelves, accusing Moscow of all the mortal sins of the Armenians, in an attempt to provoke a civil war. The country's main terrorist claims that the Kremlin is putting pressure on Armenia for the sake of concessions on the Karabakh issue. It turns out that this is done for the sake of Azerbaijan. But this is not the main thing in his brutal concept.

Sasna Tsrer after the notorious events with the attack on the police base and the taking of hostages, I remember, was amnestied by Pashinyan. Today, he is fulfilling a duty to the authorities, which are trying to reproduce the effect of mass character.

But the prime minister overlooks an important detail. The spin of the new plot is again tied to the Karabakh issue, which plays the role of a regulator in the Armenian political system. If it seems to Pashinyan that he was able to tame the Sefilyan’s group and subordinate it to his goals, he is deeply mistaken.

Sasna Tsrer constantly attacks Russia, demands the ousting of the Russian language from Armenia, raises the question of disconnecting Russian broadcasting, seeing in Moscow one big evil. And today, the government is publicly conspiring with a force that is not afraid to skip the red line. Terrorists do not care who they run into, where to find death, but is the prime minister ready for a fatal confluence of circumstances, who sets up a new concept of an odious element as a trigger?

In politics, as in business, bankruptcy forces losers to clutch at any straw, to cooperate with anyone for the sake of salvation. Pashinyan squeezed his maximum, and his ghostly asset has not changed anything in the life of the country. He is forced to make an alliance with marginals, terrorists and with anyone, just to resist but it is weak for him to take the only right step towards consensus with Baku.

The return of dignity does not come overnight, but with the implementation of a well-thought-out program. Victories outside the country are achieved through success in domestic life. If the Armenian government still has not realized this, then everything is clear with it. High politics realizes itself through a wise state policy, and not through terror and radicalism. 

If a politician combines stupidity with meanness, he passes judgment on himself. An alternative to this is the bet on intelligence and high ethics. But, you know, this noble resource is not in the leader’s baggage, since he got confused with demons, who advocate a permanent war against everyone.

The conclusion suggests itself: the Kremlin, of course, will soon respond to the actions of its satellite, who, in agony, is trying to get out of the orbit of Russian influence. Where, by the way, among other things, the pro-Pashinyan mass media outlets in recent days have been gloating over the worsening situation with the coronavirus in Russia, predicting its imminent collapse... But everything seems to be like in the Russian saying: “Don’t dig a hole for another, you can end up in it”. The Armenian prime minister has already found itself in this pit.

Of course, Baku, where they closely monitor the development of the situation on the Armenian-Russian track, is in a waiting position. And it is not for nothing that the top military leadership of the country has been at the forefront for several days, realizing that circumstances are becoming favorable.