Challenges still to come

Challenges still to come

While security and progress are actually the most serious issues

On Sunday, the election campaign kicked off officially.  The political parties and alliances gave the first election campaign “volleys” to the public.  The national elections in the coming months will undoubtedly become the number one subject of public attention.  Especially since the Republican Party which is the ruling party and seeking to keep as such begins to speak about actually the most important issues: security and progress, making it even its main slogan. In other words, things of which there is a big shortage for the first one, moreover, with a tendency to further decline if nothing is changed, while the second is totally missing since 2009.  It is also natural that opposition or the political unit representing as such will counter to this.  And if we move the issue to the dimension of “pure experiment”, then the bases of these public debates which apparently should be ideas and coordinated and justified visions for the future rather than “blunt” financial and administrative resources, the public or its politically active part should have raised a number of logical questions about security and progress.  Furthermore, it is impossible to bypass the fact that both are directly linked with Armenia-Russia relations and will also be the derivative thereof.

Two days before the campaign is kicked off, on March 3, “EuroNews” published an interview with Serzh Sargsyan in Brussels where he talked about the security and progress of the Armenia-Russia relations.  The reporter noted that Russia was against Armenia’s and Ukraine’s accession to the EU Association Agreements and asked whether he was forced to make the new Armenia-EU document weaker to make it beneficial for Russia.  “From the very beginning of the negotiations, our understanding was to have both the Association Agreement with the EU and the close integration agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia has never told us that we cannot sign such an agreement. They told us, if you want you can do it but in that case, you must pay for the energy supplies which is dictated by the global market,” answered Serzh Sargsyan and ended here.

Whereas we should not forget what terror campaign was waged by Russia against Armenia and Ukraine until September 3, 2013, in other words, until the EuroMaidan in Kiev and the subsequent events.  It is a fact that the reality is different: the “age-old friend” Russia was exposing Armenia to the toughest and cynical blackmail not only on energy supplies.  Statements were coming from various official and “expertise” circles that “you will lose Karabakh,” “Have you thought about Armenians working in Russia?” “a massive social discontent is expected in the autumn,” and so on, trying to “explain” the Armenians like the fox in Tumanyan’s tale “The End of the Evil” that “this mountain is mine, this tree is mine,” and “now I will being my ax and cut off your tree.” Plus, the “opposition” trio-quartet shameful and irresponsible circus in the Liberty Square which, in fact, the most corrupt and the most oligarchic government of the post-Soviet period hang around the neck of the country.  And when the reporter noting that Armenia relies on Russia also on the security, then asked whether he sees any alternative to NATO, Serzh Sargsyan said that related to the 25th anniversary of the Armenia-NATO relations, he has invited the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Armenia and “we do not see any contradiction” between the partnership with NATO and our “alliance” with Russia.  Serzh Sargsyan explaining the current foreign policy position of Armenia, in fact, limited his saying only to “energy supplies” and “seeing no contradiction.”

Certainly, the realism and political responsibility assume and compel that the leader of the country should keep the country far from shocks and does not allow it become a victim of wrong decisions, especially when it is already a fact what “your ally” or “age-old friend”, even “you’re the same faith brother” is capable.  Look at Ukraine.  And it is not important and surprising what Russia would want to do, and yet, it is a question how much of what it wants will be able to do, and how much we cannot allow doing.  It is not important that Moscow used pressure as it is a fact, which actually Serzh Sargsyan admits, what is important is how it happened that we were “suppressed”.  Fine, and if the Russians again raise the question of “energy supplies” or begin “to see contradictions” between Armenia-NATO cooperation and Armenia-Russia “alliance”, then what? Should we be “oppressed” again?  And what should be done to avoid this happening again?

Pertaining to “energy supplies”.  It turns out that if this very question was taken out, was Armenia to go to Vilnius to sign the EU Association Agreement?  Let us leave what happened not in the far past, it has been repeatedly stated what shameful policy was conducted by the West and Europe towards year-by-year obscene Russia and the post- Soviet countries stuck in corruption and criminal swamp, as well as the shameful attitude, which Yerevan demonstrated toward Armenia-Iran energy relations, and as a result the gas pipeline became “thin” and missed its opportunities of being a transit, after which, “for the sake of friendship”, it was committed to Russians along with the last 20 percent of “ArmRosGazprom”.

In fact, this year, Ukraine spent the first winter without Russian gas monopolist “Gazprom’s” “brotherly” gas, without having any border with other gas-producing state, unlike us … Obviously, the challenges are still to come, and non-standard and brave decisions are required both for security and progress.  It is also obvious that the bravery does not come down into the policy from the “air”, applauses are not enough for the security and progress, it requires resources: political resource, social resource, military resource, intellectual resource, economic resource, and democratic resource.  It is also obvious that driven by the campaign logic, the most fantastic ideas and promises will be poured on us in the coming month.

Nonetheless, we must not allow this spring flood of twaddle to considerably depreciate the already excessively depreciated resource which the leaving political generation has depreciated, and now, they are trying to explain it with “electric supplies” and calm down the audience with the “absence” of contradictions in relations with the two mutually incompatible and mutually exclusive poles and the carriers of values systems.  After all, the four-day war has not left a room for carelessness.  To overcome the upcoming challenges in reality rather than only by the status of a slogan, to summarize all resources necessary for ensuring security and progress, Armenia needs a democratic unity rather than a Russian type barrack (“I am the boss, you are the fool”) which underlies the rule of law.  So far, it is rhetorical and aimed at the future question of who many of the political forces and politicians who during this campaign will put aside the temptation to be engaged in primitive demagogy and will try to reach the answers to these questions to the public.  Bon voyage to all deserved.


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