Speaking at the National Assembly on April 13, Nikol Pashinyan said that he “should be blamed not for handing over the lands, but for not doing it.”
“I am guilty as in 2018-2019 I did not tell the people that all our close and not close friends expected from us to hand over the 7 regions – in this or that configuration – to Azerbaijan and lower the bar we set for the status of Artsakh.
I am guilty for not telling the people that the international community recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and expects us to do so too. I am guilty for not telling unequivocally that the scenarios not acceptable for us were not acceptable for Azerbaijan and the representatives of the international community sometimes clearly, sometimes in a diplomatic way were telling that if the Armenian side accepted them they still needed to convince Azerbaijan to do it.
I had to present all this in detail to the people, my real guilt was not doing it. If I handed over the lands, I would have probably saved thousands of lives and not doing it, I in fact became the author of decisions that resulted in thousands of victims.”
The last paragraph in which Pashinyan calmly states that he is the one responsible for the loss of thousands of lives does not surprise me.
At the March 1, 2021 rally he said:
“Over the 31 years of our independence, we have made all the possible mistakes, all the mistakes that were possible to make theoretically and practically.”
A few months after this confession – equivalent to a political suicide – Pashinyan and his party won the election. It was clear that after that he could regularly come up with “repentance.”
In the National Assembly Pashinyan also explained why he did not talk to the people:
“To speak about it with the people I should have first convinced myself that it was the right way, and I should confess that I could not convince myself. Why? The reason is the same as the one why the opposition cannot adapt to the reality and this reason may be formulated in the following way – Sanasar or Kubatli? Zangelan or Kovsakan?”
A lot has already been and will still be written about Pashinyan’s this speech. I will focus on a few facts.
1. When in 2018 Pashinyan was telling that he would discuss the NK issue with the people, did not he at that moment “convince himself?” If not, what was he going to discuss?
2. If he had been told “to lower the bar,” why was he raising “this bar” instead stating that “Artsakh is Armenia, that’s it!?”
3. If all our “close and not close friends” were expecting us to “hand over the 7 regions – in this or that configuration – to Azerbaijan and lower the bar set for the status of Artsakh” why was Pashinyan, during the inglorious debate with Aliyev in Munich in February 2020, formulating “Munich principles,” surprising and making Aliyev and the mediators laugh. Moreover, Pashinyan was describing Munich meeting as a “breakthrough” because it “proved that it is Azerbaijan which comes up with non-constructive positions, sometimes reaching the level of racism”.
This and many other questions have one answer – our state is ruled by one person who does not have courage to make decisions, hiding this inability with dishonesty. But those who elected him and his supporters do not see any problem in it. When a major part of the society not only accepts that it is taken for an idiot but also enjoys this status, Pashinyan can at least hundred times enumerate in what he can be blamed for knowing very well that he will not be blamed for anything.
Pashinyan’s “beloved” targets – former Presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan – reached close to the settlement in Key West and Kazan. Indeed, in both cases Azerbaijan stepped back but these were the two cases when the leaders of Armenia were close to the point of settlement of the issue without war. Pashinyan, who came to power with vast store of people’s support, did nothing to initiate his own “Key West” or “Kazan.” By starting “from scratch,” he remained on this scratch.
Ara Tadevosyan is Director of Mediamax.