On May 8, the National Assembly (parliament) of Armenia elected Nikol Pashinyan, representative of parliamentary minority as prime minister. Under the new constitution of Armenia, the prime minister has full power and is de-facto head of the state. The so-called “velvet revolution” in Armenia succeeded and leader of public protests formed government of “people’s confidence” and started preparations for snap parliamentary elections, date of which is so far hard to foresee.
Since the very beginning, organizers of the protests insisted that it was just domestic policy process with no foreign policy hidden motives.
Nikol Pashinyan was well aware that Armenia is not Ukraine and the Armenian people, at least the overwhelming majority of it, will hardly follow a leader trying to lead them against Russia. The Armenian people demanded social and economic changes and improvement of living standards. At that moment, Pashinyan headed the Yelq parliamentary faction, the political program of which particularly reads: “The Yelq Bloc considers Armenia’s EAEU membership a mistake that poses serious risks to sovereignty, security, normal economic and political development of Armenia, fair settlement of Artsakh issue. The Yelq Bloc believes that these risks need to be managed through deep analysis of the regional and international situation and balanced implementation of national interests of the Republic of Armenia.”
Besides, Pashinyan’s faction initiated hearings in the parliament related to Yerevan’s withdrawal from EAEU. Leader of people’s protests Pashinyan was well aware that if his undertaking succeeds, partners in Russia will have concerns over further development of Russian-Armenian relations. That is why, during rallies, he constantly expressed his loyalty to Moscow and priority of Armenian-Russian relations. He talked about this also at the meeting with Russian Embassy diplomats in Armenia and State Duma members.
On May 14, Sochi hosted EAEU Summit. Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin made on sidelines of the summit. During the meeting, Pashinyan thanked Russia for its balanced stance on events in Armenia and reiterated that no one in Yerevan will ever cast doubt on importance of Russian-Armenian relations.
After the Summit in Sochi, Pashinyan continued forming his cabinet. It is no secret that overwhelming majority of the new government representatives graduated from various Western universities. There is nothing bad in it. However, what some of them were engaged in during study-free time gives pause for thought.
One of Pashinyan’s most interesting appointments that, to put it mildly, does not fit into logic of Russian-Armenian allied relations, is appointment of Armen Grigoryan, Election Program Coordinator of Transparency International, as Head of National Security Council. Transparency International is sponsored by Soros Foundation, an NGO of American billionaire who used to sponsor “color” revolutions worldwide. George Soros considers Russia his archenemy and over 70 organizations in Armenia are funded by his Foundation. Many of those organizations seek to undermine the Russian-Armenian relations and damage Russia’s image in Armenia.
Another, not less noteworthy event for prospects of Armenian-Russian alliance was appointment of David Sanasaryan as Head of the State Audit Service. David Sanasaryan, former representative of Heritage pro-Western chaired by U.S. Armenian Raffi Hovhannisyan, was regularly noticed in front of the Russian Embassy in Yerevan with a new anti-Russian poster directed by his American bosses. Sanasaryan is known to throw eggs at the building of Russian Embassy and demand withdrawal of Russian military base from Armenia.
Recently Nikol Pashinyan has charged Daniel Ioanissyan, coordinator of the Union of Informed Citizens NGO, to head work on new version of Election Code of Armenia. Many know Ioanissyan as whistle-blower who exposed school principals lobbying for the Republican Party during last parliamentary elections.
Articles by representatives of this NGO on EAEU, CSTO and Russia are available on its website. The NGO received grants from above Foundations to discredit the process of Armenia’s participation in EAEU.
On May 25, Babken Ter-Grigoryan was appointed as deputy minister for Armenian Diaspora. Ter-Grigoryan was born in Paris, grew up and received education in U.S. Like Armen Grigoryan, he worked at Transparency International, was coordinator of Soros Foundation programs. Simultaneously, he is appointed Advisor to deputy prime minister for economy issues. Of course, Pashinyan saw Ter-Grigoryan’s images holding a poster insulting leader of the state having the biggest Armenian Diaspora. Pashinyan who has recently called the Diaspora for support should not anticipate Babken Ter-Grigoryan’s assistance in this not to feel deeply disappointed.
Newly appointed Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan worked as accountant at Synopsys Inc. American company for long years. Tandilyan represents the Yelq Bloc and pro-Western Prosperous Armenia Party. Tandilyan and her party believe that Armenia’s withdrawal from EAEU will create new opportunities for Armenia, and Armenian goods will become in demand in the European market. The same “Soros’” ministers of Saakashvili’s team in Georgia used to say until they ruined agricultural sector and had to ask Russia to open its market for Georgian wines and beverages.
Basically, it is not clear how Pashinyan is going to improve the Russian-Armenian relations with such team. These persons are evident chronic Russophobes and they have repeatedly proved it by their actions. In fact, it is not the full list. We will introduce also other newly-appeared American politicians and officials who are “full of energy,” as Pashinyan said in Sochi, to develop the strategic alliance of Armenia with Russia.
Nerses Haroutiunyan, political analyst (Voronezh) for EADaily