Dear Mr Putin,
I have to admit I was never fond of this genre and felt very skeptical about the letters written to you from Armenia on various topics in recent years. However, today I am writing to you, and I am addressing you not as the President of the Russian Federation, but as the actual leader of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) that holds the majority in our parliament.
I should note beforehand that I have expressed my approach to Armenian-Russian relations in great detail in the article “Security vs Future?” that I wrote back in January 2014. I have to ask your assistants to read it and resist the temptation of presenting my letter as “anti-Russia”.
As you know, RPA leader Serzh Sargsyan resigned as Armenian Prime Minister on April 23 and several days later the party announced they were looking for a new leader. RPA First Vice President Karen Karapetyan who now serves as interim PM does not actually hold any leadership in the party. That much is evident from the fact that RPA did not nominate him for Prime Minister.
On May 1, the Armenian parliament held hours-long debates on the candidacy of Nikol Pashinyan, nominated by “Yelk” faction. A day earlier, there was a tacit agreement that RPA will not hinder his election.
Nevertheless, on May 1 many RPA representatives claimed that Pashinyan’s election is absolutely unacceptable and made direct, indirect or other allusions to the country you head. I do not know if they were doing so on their own or by a “recommendation” from you and your assistants. In any case, whether you intended or not, yesterday you were the actual “leader” of RPA.
If so, let’s be honest and admit you have never fully trusted RPA leader Serzh Sargsyan. The first crack in your relations appeared when he awarded Mikheil Saakashvili the Order of Honor mere months after the August war of 2008 in Georgia. Many people knew, but preferred not to speak about it publicly. The same concerns the fact after the Order of Honor story Serzh Sargsyan found it difficult to get a meeting with you and once waited for a very long time in Novo-Ogaryovo until you received him late at night. Then there was the notorious Armenia-EU Association Agreement story, when Serzh Sargsyan made a drastic turn of policy in one day and announced Armenia’s desire to join the Eurasian Economic Union.
Trust me, the May 1 debates in Armenian parliament have reduced, not increased the number of people sincerely supporting stronger ties with Russia. At the same time, they have grown the number of people asking if Russia, a country with a space military, couldn’t know more about Azerbaijan’s planned attack in April 2016.
In its current state, RPA is unviable and even you cannot breathe a new life into it. Only the party itself is capable of that, if RPA members admit and analyze their mistakes, elect a new leader, and start from a scratch. You have so many concerns in Russia and globally, RPA isn’t worth your time.
Dear Mr Putin,
Once a friend of mine made a curious statement, “Armenians are probably the only nation that loves the Russians irrationally.” Let us all try together to keep that note in our relations.
Ara Tadevosyan is the Director of Mediamax.