By Anastasia Lavrina
On Sunday morning, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan commenting on the decision of the court to release ex-president Robert Kocharyan from arrest, stated that “the second and most important stage of the revolution is ripening in the country”, which aims to change the judicial system and “establish people’s power in this sphere”.
He called on citizens of the country to block all entrances and exits of the republic’s courts on Monday morning and to wait for his speech on the air. Armenia is unstable, unpredictable and dangerous for Pashinyan who is losing control over the system by every passing day.
“Such actions by the Prime Minister of Armenia are illegal. The Supreme Judicial Council of Armenia, the Chamber of Lawyers, and many political figures spoke about this. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called on the Armenian authorities to relieve pressure on the courts in the country. Pashinyan uses his people to achieve the own political goals. First, he appeals to block the entrances to the courts, arrives at the scene of events, poses for the cameras, and then calls for unlocking the entrances. Of course, this is an idea to demonstrate the support of the population and justify himself, as if he acts on behalf of the people. We are witnessing the next stage of the struggle for power between the Prime Minister and the former Presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan, who have strong support from the separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh and Moscow.
Recently, Nikol Pashinyan started to travel to Nagorno-Karabakh on a regular basis in order to strengthen control in the region. But that did not happen. The influence of Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan is quite strong among the separatists and in Armenia itself.
Kocharyan’s release from arrest, first of all, demonstrates Pashinyan’s weakness and his inability to control the situation in the country, corroded by corruption and by the interests of certain groups.
Recently, he stated that he sees the far-reaching goals of specific forces representing the former corruption system, “up to provoking a conspiratorial war, surrendering some territories and shifting responsibility to the Armenian government.”
As a Prime Minister of Armenia, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Pashinyan promised to take “the most stringent measures to prevent such conspiracies” and appealed to the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, occupied by the Armenian Armed Forces, “to support only those forces that stand out from the standpoint of the undoubted support of the Armenian people and their chosen legitimate authorities”.
By this, he, once again, confirms that from a military and economic point of view, Armenia has full control over the occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, but it fails to form political influence.
This split between Armenia and the separatists from Nagorno-Karabakh regime has existed since the very beginning of Pashinyan’s coming to power and is being used by different internal and external forces.
During the Sargsyan period, the monopolized power was concentrated in the hands of one clan, who was surrounded with supporters inside the country and among the separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh.
There was only one selected course towards closer integration with Russia. With the arrival of Pashinyan, the situation has changed, though more in words than in deeds. A relatively new prime minister announced integration with Europe, the establishment of democracy and the fight against oligarchy. In fact, he is not able to do it. The economy was and remains to be dependent on Russia, and the integration in Europe continues to sound only in words in order to somehow maintain Pashinyan’s image. There are no major changes in the process of settling the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, except that the bilateral meetings between the officials from Azerbaijan and Armenia began to take place more often.
In turn, the influence of the oligarchs and the Armenian diaspora has not evaporated. Supporters of the former two presidents still have a strong influence in many state structures.
Current situation is not in favor of Pashinyan, and will be increasingly aggravated. There is only one way to stop this process that is to make the final decision to withdraw the occupational Armed Forces of Armenia from the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan. The occupation and destructive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan’s territory, which was carried out under the Kocharyan and Sargsyan regimes, and which Pashinyan continues to support, does not allow Armenia to develop either economically, socially or politically, and does not allow this state to finally become independent and stable”.