Serge Sarkisian’s Catalogue of Failures: A Brief Foreign Policy Survey

The Armenian Weekly March 2014 Magazine:
Armenia’s Foreign Policy in Focus

Writing after the first year of Serge Sarkisian’s presidency, I half-jokingly suggested that Armenia’s leader may have come under the influence of Buddhist “third way” philosophy, trying to find a balanced compromise path that would take him clear of the confrontational approaches of his two predecessors. Now, some years later, the third president’s years in power are likely to be remembered for three major failures in achieving compromise breakthroughs: the Turkish-Armenian protocols (officially declared dead of “exhaustion” in 2010), the EU association and free trade negotiations (killed last September), and the Custom’s Union/Eurasian integration process (fatally wounded by the Ukrainian crisis).

A scene from the funeral of slain Armenian soldier Gurgen Margaryan (Photo: Photolur)
A scene from the funeral of slain Armenian soldier Gurgen Margaryan (Photo: Photolur)

Through each of these initiatives—dragged out over years—the president managed to annoy key constituencies: many in the Armenian Diaspora, Russia’s leadership and, most recently, the European bureaucrats and the pro-reform minded activists in Armenia. In all three cases, the initiatives came from Sarkisian—under varying degrees of duress—but were killed by circumstances that he could not really influence.

But even outside the realm of big politics, Sarkisian’s credibility has long been shot, his eloquently prepared speeches contrasting greatly with actual policies. Here is a listing of some of the more memorable foreign policy blunders of recent years that serve to illustrate Sarkisian-style policies in the Karabagh conflict—a subject in which Armenia has a greater say:

– In August 2012, several Armenian NGO groups circulated a letter warning that the Hungarian government had struck a deal with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and was about to transfer (read: release) the murderer of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan to Azerbaijan. Nothing is known to have been done by Armenia to prevent the extradition. Following the extradition, release, and hero-like treatment given to the murderer, Armenia severed diplomatic ties with Hungary and launched a legal complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. Sarkisian said that Armenia’s relations with third countries will henceforth depend on their attitude to the Budapest scandal. After many tough words, there was no accounting on what was, in fact, done. On the one-year anniversary of the extradition, the issue could have been completely ignored if Margaryan’s father had not attempted a suicide. In the meantime, Sarkisian went back to negotiating with Aliyev and even said that the latter’s “re-election” was good for Armenia.

The Stepanakert airport in disuse (Photo: Nanore Barsoumian/The Armenian Weekly)
The Stepanakert airport in disuse (Photo: Nanore Barsoumian/The Armenian Weekly)

– In June 2010, four Armenian soldiers were killed and as many were wounded in one of the single bloodiest episodes for the Armenian Army since the cease-fire on the Line of Contact with Azerbaijan. Sarkisian continued on his trip to Russia and Germany, and visited the wounded only two weeks later. Armenia initially refused to return the body of an Azerbaijani army serviceman who launched the kamikaze-style attack resulting in the deaths. Then, after Armenian civilian Manvel Saribekian was captured on the border and died in Azerbaijani prison, his body was exchanged for the one of the psycho, who was already declared a national hero. The “extradition” was brokered by the Russian Patriarch and Armenian Catholicos. Talks with Aliyev continued.

– Also in 2010, a new Stepanakert airport was built in Karabagh, the Armenian leadership declared its determination to begin direct passenger flights from Yerevan, and Sarkisian promised to become one of the first passengers. Now, more than three years later, with Azerbaijani threats to kill passengers mid-air and requests from the American, French and Russian Minsk Group diplomats to hold off, flights have yet to materialize. In effect, Armenia and Karabagh have surrendered full sovereignty over their airspace.

– On the matter of Karabagh’s status, Armenia’s official line has also undergone an unpleasant transformation. Under former president Robert Kocharian, Armenia ruled out any subordination of Karabagh to Azerbaijan and reserved the right for unilateral recognition of Karabagh in the absence of progress in negotiations. Today, the so-called Madrid Principles accepted by Sarkisian are a muddle of both self-determination and territorial integrity principles. With no resolution in sight, Armenia has made recognition of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR) conditional on fresh Azerbaijani military aggression. Remarkably, Sarkisian even described calls for recognition of NKR by some of his political opponents as “foolishness and treason.”

To be fair to Sarkisian, his domestic policies are a substantial improvement on both of his predecessors’. The political opponents are mostly left alone and the activists have enjoyed greater room to campaign. If one is to generalize, following Levon Ter-Petrossian’s tough-at-home, soft-abroad approach and Kocharian’s tough-at-home and tough-abroad approaches, Sarkisian is proving to be soft in both.

Armenia remains adrift and in dangerous waters. Vladimir Putin’s move into Crimea is a calamity that—unless it is somehow reversed—will lead to Western efforts to isolate Russia, with consequences for its remaining allies, Armenia among them. While Armenia may have few options when dealing with the world’s top players—Washington, Brussels and Moscow—the country should do better when it comes to defining objectives and following through on core security issues.

 

An earlier version of this article appeared in Armenian and Russian in the September 2013 issue of Analyticon, a Stepanakert-based magazine.

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Emil Sanamyan

Emil Sanamyan is a Washington-based writer focusing on the Caucasus and neighboring countries.

38 Comments

  1. The Armenian Weekly is anti – Armeian. Serge Sarkisian is the best president Armenia ever had. Custom’s Union/Eurasian integration is the best move he made. EU and US are the enemies of Armenia only Russia will protect Armenia ,EU and US are the biggest friends of turkey.

  2. I do not agree with his last view.

    Putin’s move was the right move as the west was trying for the past 20 years through NATO and its European chapter EU to encircle Russia.

    The west has not been sincere in its dealings with Russia.

  3. It is easy to criticize. It is much more difficult to propose viable policy options. The former is done by anyone from Armenian housewives to legions of armchair warriors. The latter requires both real foreign policy practice and knowledge of international relations theory. Sargsyan’s policies can be criticized, although most of it is rather shallow. That’s not what Armenia needs. Let’s see Emil Sanamyan’s catalogue of policy options.

  4. Sarkisian’s failures abroad are largely not his fault, but Armenia being stuck in a war of giants. Where Sarkisian could be criticized and his disastrous policies pointed out — his domestic policies and the rampant corruption — are not even mentioned. What is the use of an article which lists apocalyptic problems without giving any insight or analysis of WHY? We are living one of the worst moments in our history, probably at the same level as after the Genocide and all a journalist is doing is a superficial catalogue of errors. Sanamyan cannot even understand the real significance of Crimea for Armenians. I hope you have seen the declarations of Turkey to leave Crimea alone and I hope you understand what it means for Armenia to leave its slavery to Russia. We have no choice! No one cares about Armenia. We have no resources and soon the country will be without anyone. So, the one thing Sarkisian could do, is to have an internal, domestic strategy and create livable conditions, which he is not doing. This is the problem.

  5. As the third president, Sergeian era will be remembered as the weakest in sovereignty issues of the country. Though his predecessors were as corrupt, his negotiation principles are based on ‘take anything including Karabagh, just keep me in power’. Alas, the real payment bill will come later for many generations to come.

  6. Armenia’s survival overrides all failures, the West can’t be trusted, not even almost after 100 years, most western countries recognize the Armenian Genocide, this is a real failure.

  7. In the beginning of the article, he mentions the results of various foreign policy decisions–such as Safarov’s extradition–but doesn’t give the reader a alternative route that could’ve been taken by Armenian authorities.

    A couple of the hyperbolic statements:

    “In effect, Armenia and Karabagh have surrendered full sovereignty over their airspace.” — Perhaps they are pressured by France, US, and Russia (Minsk Group) to alleviate tensions and continue talks (which have only resulted in the Armenian status-quo being unchanged)? In any case the airport construction was a major step in the direction of Artsakh gaining status as a full-functioning state.

    “…and the Custom’s Union/Eurasian integration process (fatally wounded by the Ukrainian crisis).” — Is he referring to the result of a neo-fascist (Svoboda/Right Sector) overthrow of the government in Kiev sponsored by the State Dept/EU? Russians have substantial investment in London and Berlin, along with significant interdependence between all three economies. The EU has already proven soft on sanctions. The EU was never an option for Armenia, neither was Turkish NATO.

  8. Sergik should be removed from power, he destroyed our dream of european union membership, he is just a russian slave

    • why don’t you try to remove ‘Sergik’ from power yourself.

      give it a try: see how well it will work out for you.
      go to a public square in Yerevan and start your process of ‘Sergik’ removal from power.
      RoA NSS will greet you warmly and will help you along the process.
      or, you can avoid all the intermediate steps and check yourself into the same hotel where another ‘revolutionary’ is enjoying a well deserved rest.
      [Court decides to move Shant Harutyunyan to lunatic asylum. Nov 2013 ARMENPRESS].

  9. Armenia has lost credibility on the world stage. The current administration’s beneficiaries are only the oligarchs. Armenia’s decision to scuttle the EU/West will only ensure that the status quo remains. The robber barons will continue to thrive, while the average Armenian citizen either emigrates in search of better job opportunities abroad, or remains in the country subsisting on a meager $300 monthly income, which is nearly not enough to even heat up a home during the cold winter months.

  10. Let us review Pres. Sarkisian’s so-called “Catalogue of Failures”.

    #1 The Safarov affair.

    Not only the non-action of the RoA Gov vis-à-vis their pre-knowledge of Safarov’s pending release was not a policy failure, it was one of the most brilliant policy successes. Here is why:
    a)Had Safarov stayed in jail, he would have eventually gotten out: it was not a life sentence.
    b)He was clearly not suffering there, judging by his rotund, healthy appearance upon release.
    c) Had he stayed there another 20 years or so, he would have been ignored and forgotten like he was up to then.
    d) His release gave Azerbaijan negative publicity that no amount of Armenian money could buy.
    e) Conversely, Artsakh Armenians’ argument that under no circumstance can NKR return to the rule of Baku’s Anti-Armenian neo-Nazis received worldwide affirmation: courtesy of Baku.
    f) The Safarov release can be used again and again to demolish any arguments that Turkbaijanis may have left vis-à-vis NKR Independence.
    g) After a month or so of public display, Safarov has disappeared from view: it is near impossible to find him in Baku (…according to various reporters who have unsuccessfully tried to get an interview)
    h) He is a prisoner in his own city. He can’t travel outside of Azerbaijan, because he never knows….who might walk up behind him and…
    i) He lives in fear, not knowing when the executioner’s ax will come down on his own neck.
    j) Hopefully, RoA NSS is tracking him, and will carry out the legal execution of a fleeing convicted felon in the field, whenever they have the opportunity.

    #2 “…Sarkisian continued on his trip to Russia and Germany…”:

    What exactly would you have him do ? was he going on a vacation ?
    He was on an official state visit.
    RoA has a very capable DM in the person of Seyran Ohanyan, and an experienced , professional General Staff.
    Lots of NKR war veterans in the Officer Corp and Senior Staff.
    They are well capable of handling anything, even if the Commander in Chief is incapacitated.
    You expect the head of state to drop everything and run back home every time there is an incursion at the LOC ?

    btw: “…Manvel Saribekian…died in Azerbaijani prison,..”
    Manvel Saribekian was _tortured_ and _murdered_ by Turkbaijani sadists: he did not, quote, ‘died’ in prison.
    Strange that an Armenian would repeat the same line about Mr. Saribekian disseminated by Azerbaijan.

    #3 Stepanakert airport:

    {“ requests from the American, French and Russian…diplomats to hold off,”} Exactly. And ?
    Tiny little RoA is supposed to defy Russia, and US, and France ?
    How about that ‘isolation’ of Russia you were talking about.
    You don’t think Russia, US, and France can actually completely isolate RoA if they so choose ?

    {“ In effect, Armenia and Karabagh have surrendered full sovereignty over their airspace.”}
    Nonsense: military and civilians helicopter have been flying between Yerevan and Stepanakert for years.
    For some reason, the three biggies don’t want any trouble right now: RoA and NKR play along. What’s the problem ?

    #4 On the matter of Karabagh’s status:

    {“ Remarkably, Sarkisian even described …. as “foolishness and treason.”}
    Calling it treason, if he did, is uncalled for.
    But it is certifiably foolish.
    Recognition by RoA, and only RoA, has zero practical value, and will give Azerbaijan the excuse to mount a major attack.
    OSCE will look the other way, blaming RoA for triggering a military conflict.

    For all practical purposes RoA and NKR are one. What exactly will recognition by RoA achieve ?
    On the contrary. Non recognition has myriad advantages.
    About that foolishness thing: one of the Politicians foolishly advocating recognition by RoA is Raffi Hovannisian.
    During the NKR war, he was about 30. He was in Yerevan. He did not go to war.
    None of his 4 military age sons living in RoA today have served in RoA Military.
    None.
    Easy for him to advocate worthless recognition, No ?

    And finally, Sir: your last paragraph is the most puzzling:
    {“ Armenia remains adrift….Putin’s move into Crimea is a calamity that…”}

    Armenia adrift ? No: Armenia’s leaders have done a great job since Independence, expertly navigating the country in treacherous waters, considering where RoA is and given RoA capabilities. What do you think a landlocked country of 3 million can possibly do that it hasn’t already ?
    Putin’s move into Crimea a ‘calamity’ ? For whom ? If you mean for the warmongering Anti-Armenian Neocons, then Yes.
    “…unless it is somehow reversed…”: Oh yeah, it will be reversed alright.
    Same way NKR Independence will be reversed.
    In case you are still wandering on which side Armenians are:
    http://asbarez.com/120769/karabakh-parliament-welcomes-crimea-vote/

    Isolate Russia ? How exactly do you isolate a country that has a landmass twice the size of United States, 140 million population, access to world’s oceans, is self-sufficient in everything, Debt-to-GDP of < 10% (US is ~100%), has 10,000 nuclear warheads…
    Do people living in Washington DC actually come to believe their own fantasies ?

    • Bravo Avery! I couldn’t put it any better even if I tried! The neo-con agenda of partitioning, ‘isolating’ and eventually breaking up Russia (and then China, etc.) is objectively anti-Armenian and pro-Turkish in as far as it relates to our neighbourhood. Mr Sanamyan is obviously living in a neo-con cuckoo cloud bubble in Washington where perhaps he should stay for good.

  11. Avery,
    I like your arguments.You seem to know quite a bit about policies so far pursued in RA,as rgds foreign policy and navigating the new reborn republic through turbulent waters-O.K.
    Why not try to also consider that the Armenian Diaspora has had some doings in helpìng the Motherland as much as it could.
    Fact of the matter is the ¨protocols¨case was really saved from going into effect ,rather made to fail by the French(in the fist instance) and the U.S.Diaspora in the second encounter with pres. Serge Sarkisian.Had not these two showdown been performed by said two, most possible the protocols would have gone through to the detriment of our newborn RA. I may agree with the other points(with reservation) but my viewpoint is that the Gov.t(not ISHKHANUTYUN) THAT THEY KEEP REPEATING..leaving impression that those ruling there are ISHKHAND-BDESHKHS(LATTER PRETTY SIMILAR TO PRINCES) MUST EDUCATE THEM TO CALL those in Govt. as CIVIL SERVANTS, ought to pay much more attn to the Diaspora as well.
    Fact of the matter is I am ¨´suggesting¨¨lately direct (emails)that the The FIVE main continents communities N.& S. Americas, EU,RF, and Middle East have permanent delgatges with Ministry of Diaspora.A MUST.Present co relations rather formalities…I also modestly suggest that RA opt for a ¨¨ s e n a t e¨ the second higher LEGISTLATIVE Chammber.Not leaving ex diplomats, Minsitres, MPs outside ,marginalized.We need all those people there in the Senate. To not respond the Azeri ,or like you say Turkbeijanis agressive stance unanswered ,actually encourages latter to attack us more in all aspects.We need to react, co herently i.e. Homeland-Diasppora together.AS rgds Safarov case, you may be right in that it became a good reason for us to bring it to attn of the world public opinion.WE need to act more in that respect and have the Hungarian Gov.t also feel ¨¨uneasy¨¨ not just the other.En fin,most important than all above is the present unenviable Economic situation in RA.ÇThe change many talk about ,i agrree should be realized but through an EVOLUTION,rather than Revolution. pres. Serge ought to act a bit more at this juncture that the recent tumultuous situation in Ukrain have taken place. So far we have steered clear, not taking sides.I believe that is the best policy.Russia´s muscle showing -I like,only as rgds to bring attn to Davout oghlou that hurried over before Crimea declared independent of Ukrian.FM Davoutoghlu showed how they were out there trying to fish in muddy waters.Hope it settl es down at that point only not involving further North to Eastern Ukrain causing real conflict.

  12. I one hundred percent agree with the last comment (Avery) wrote, and i think Armenian weekly should print he or she has written on the front page of Armenian weekly so all Armenians wherever they are can read and understand how Armenia is surviving during these critical times. I never trust the West or the Americans. They talk about that Russia broke international law by going into Crimea well, what should the world say about this International law when USA and her so called International Community forced their way 10.000 Miles away into Iraq and caused the death of more than a Million Iraqis and took the country 100 years behind. What about Syria ??? What International law is Obama talking about. It seems to me that Americans and Westerners don’t have mirrors to look at themselves and see their DOUBLE STANDARDS. It seems to me we, Armenians especially Diaspora Armenians keep falling behind by being NAIVE about the politics played by these THIEVES who are there to destroy people and their country, the culture and history by lying and creating wars and stealing what in not theirs. To understand better what Armenia and NKR going through we really should go and live there and not give ourselves the Air of “that we know better” which we don’t.

  13. I agree with every word Avery wrote. I can understand if someone will call Sarkisian’s internal policies are failure due to corruption, beaurocracy, huge immigration etc. but not his foreign policies. So far Armenia , as a small country was able to balance between 2 powers Russia and West. If you trying to find geopolitical failure look at Armenia neighbour Georgia which lost 2 provinces.

  14. Good points about “president” Serge’s surrender of Armenian sovereignty to Russia. Serge and the oligarchs put their own interests above that of Armenia. It is in their interest to be subject to a corrupt country such as Russia: that way, they can stay corrupt and ignore the wishes of the Armenian people. By keeping Armenia undemocratic and weak, Serge made sure that Armenia would become Russia’s vassal. If Armenia were democratic, it would be strong enough to resist foreign (including Russian) pressure, due to the collective strength of its entire people (parallel: Hitler didn’t even dare to invade democratic and strong Switzerland). By alienating the Armenian people (through lack of democracy), Serge gutted Armenia’s ability to remain independent. Note, this is exactly what Yanukovich did to Ukraine, by keeping its military weak despite its large size. That is why it is a matter of national security for Armenia to become a democracy.

    Armenia has paid dearly through centuries by sticking to a backward autocracy such as Russia. Armenia is about to pay yet another huge price due to the Crimean crisis. West will punish Russia quite painfully. Putin’s criminal regime relies heavily on the West, and things are about to get quite harsh for Russia. The West has the means to cause autocratic Russia to implode internally, as it did with the Soviet Union in 1991. As in 1917 and 1991, Russia will likely be partitioned (due to internal pressures exacerbated by massive external pressure). As Russia goes down, so will Armenia, due to Serge’s policies. Had Armenia been democratic (and therefore strong), it would be able to hold its own in the event of Russia’s inevitable demise.

    Regarding West’s “double standards,” here is some reality. Syria committed genocide by poison gas against its people, hence the West intervened. The U.S. invaded but did not annex Iraq. No Crimean has been harmed by Ukraine. If anything, it was Ukrainians who were subjected to genocide by Soviet Russia in 1930’s (the Holodomor), and they more than deserved to reacquire Crimea after Stalin’s death. Despite this, Russia invaded AND annexed Crimea in a blatant Hitleresque fashion. And as Hitler, he is about to get a quite nasty dose of reality. The question is, what will happen to Armenia? And who is going to hold Serge and his cohorts responsible for what is about to happen to Armenia?

  15. Vahagn, apparently, has forgotten that it was Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who fought in Artsakh against us. He has developed an acute amnesia about Ukraine’s support of Azerbaijan on all levels as an ally in GUAM. He does not remember that Ukraine refused to recognize the Armenian genocide. He does not know that leaders of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists in a recent interview repeated that in case of a war in Karabakh they will join again the Azeri side. Vahagn did not see yesterday’s program on Ukrainian TV controlled by Ukrainian nationalists parrot Azeri propaganda. Vahagn believes that the Russian populated Crimea arbitrarily given by a Communist party boss to Ukraine makes as much fair sense as Stalin’s decision to transfer the Armenian Artsakh to Azerbaijan. Vahagns of this world can easily forget about Armenian national interests in their blind support of the interests they serve.

    • Apparently Arthur has forgotten that the world does not revolve around us Armenians. What does Ukraine’s non-recognition of Armenia’s Genocide have to do with the basic truth: namely, that Ukraine is beings subjected to blatant Russian aggression? Just because a country does not say what we want, we have to close our eyes to the truth? Armenia has suffered much more from Russia’s policies than from Ukraine’s “non-recognition” of the Armenian genocide. Russia destroyed our independent republic in 1920, after splitting it with Turks and Azeris. Russia is swallowing Armenia’s sovereignty as we speak. Russia continues to keep Armenia weak by keeping it corrupt and undemocratic and by driving Armenia’s population out of Armenia. And some Armenians are angry at Ukraine’s “non-recognition” of the genocide? This kind of selfishness will keep us isolated and weak. Russia is going down. That is the path that the notorious Russian ultra-chauvinism has chosen. Armenia will go down too if it keeps itself tied to Russia just because some Russians say “flattering” comments about our history.

      By the way, has Armenia recognized the Ukrainian Genocide, known as Holodomor? When 3-8 million Ukrainians died under Russian Bolshevism?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

      Let’s celebrate those brave Armenians who stood by the brave Ukrainian people in Maidan, and some of whom died heroically. Let’s be proud of brave, decent Armenians such as Arsen Avakov, the new Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, who issued an arrest warrant for Putin’s boy-toy Yanukovich.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsen_Avakov_(politician)

  16. @Vahagn
    “…Hitler didn’t even dare to invade democratic and strong Switzerland..”
    Are you joking? Germany managed to take on the Soviet Union, USA, Britain, France, Poland…all simultaneously but they didn’t “dare” take in Switzerland because they were scared of a “democratic” state? I think you nicely demonstrated your knowledge of world history, geopolitics and economics with this beautiful statement. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Yep, in the name of democracy they can easily destroy Armenia. Their understanding of democracy is as shallow as of WW II and of reasons why Germans didn’t fight Germans.

    • @Gaspar

      “Germany managed to take on the Soviet Union, USA, Britain, France, Poland…all simultaneously but they didn’t “dare” take in Switzerland because they were scared of a “democratic” state?”

      Exactly. The fact that Hitler invaded all of continental non-fascist Europe except Switzerland, a strategically crucial state between Germany and its ally Italy, shows the strength that a well-built democracy can provide to a country. Uniting German speaking populations was central to Hitler’s ideology. Hitler would dream to have Switzerland. Yet he perfectly knew the heavy losses that his army would suffer if he tried to attack Switzerland. The Swiss federal democracy itself borrowed heavily from the U.S. model of democracy. That is something that Armenians need to learn, if they want to have a strong Armenia. Your comment shows your utter lack of understanding of history and democracy.

  17. I have no idea who Avery is, but without a doubt his response, is more balanced, reasonable and thoughtful.
    Criticism that does not take into consideration Geo-political realities, the size and influence of our country , whether politically or economically that can have any impact on world politics
    and major power players, is merely empty rhetoric and not constructive.
    Things are imperfect in Armenia, indeed certain factors and elements are downright wrong. Part of the blame rests on the shoulders of the fragmented opposition. But, we need to be positive and be constructive, rather than continuously throwing darts.
    Vart Adjemian

    • Avery is a communist. A simpleton and a serf. One of Putin’s pink bathrobe wearing propaganda spewers. Soon to be isolated from the civilized world. He lives to post on Western sites because he knows he will get called “khatchik” on Russian social media sites. Freedom of speech provided in the West is an easier target for him to channel his delusion.

    • Hakop,

      I have no idea who Avery is but what he is saying above makes more sense than the article itself or the comment by Vahagn.

      In contrast, what you have spewed makes no sense at all.

      “…he will get called “khatchik” on Russian social media sites”

      What does this even mean? You seem to have a personal problem with him.

  18. {“ Avery is a communist. A simpleton and a serf”}
    (Hakop // March 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm //)

    I always appreciate a well thought out Post.
    One learns so much: 2nd main reason I visit AW so often.
    (First is the interesting articles).

    This one from another Turkic-shill stands out.
    Articulate. Concise.
    Showing deep knowledge of world affairs.
    Obviously a well-travelled man in the blogosphere.
    Knows so much about so many things.

    (pssst, between us compatriots: love it watching these Turkic and Turkbaijani nomadic shills posting under Armenian names start foaming at the mouth with impotent panic and hysterical anger, when confronted with fact-based rebuttals of their vacuous, illogical Anti-Armenian rants, and in utter desperation start giving me ‘accolades’. love it to no end. More, more…keep’em coming nomads).

    Let us review the several praises Turk-oglu ‘Hagop’ bestowed upon yours truly:

    {“ Avery is a communist.”}
    Sorry, No. I am an Armenian-American capitalist.

    {“ A simpleton and a serf”}
    Ouch (!) that one hurt. No, not really: just kidding.
    A ‘simpleton’ ? Let me think about that for a minute…OOOKKK, why not.
    Simpleton doesn’t sound so bad: I have been called a lot worse.
    A ‘serf’ ? I object: actually a Cilician Royal Prince, descendant of large landowners in Cilicia.

    Let’s see what’s next.

    {“ One of Putin’s pink bathrobe wearing propaganda spewers”}.

    Close, but no Cigar. Never wear a bathrobe of any color: too hot for that in SoCal.
    I do wear pink underwear though.
    Hot pink.
    Boxers.

    {“ He lives to post on Western sites because he knows he will get called “khatchik” on Russian social media sites”}
    What ?

    {“ Freedom of speech provided in the West is an easier target for him to channel his delusion.”}
    Well, nomad, your understanding of the complicated concept of ‘freedom of speech’ is understandably woolly. (get it ? sheeps…woolly).
    Growing up in a Yurt; tending your sheeps from dawn to dusk; who’s got time for anything else. Right Nomad ?

    Gotta go now, but will educate you about what ‘freedom of speech’ is and isn’t in the West, and in US at the next class.

    btw: I remember you and your high praise of my work from comments @Asbarez, Turk-oglu.
    Glad you decided to visit us @AW.
    Look forward to ‘working’ with you, Nomad.
    It’s gonna be lotsa fun: always is for me with yous Turkic shills.

    • lol. What the hell are you blabbering about you infant? I’ve been commenting on Asabrez and Armenianweekly and only recently. Who is Nomad? and what Turkish shill? lol. Puppets like you work for them. You give genocide deniers credibility with your contradictory and two faced lies. I’ve read your comments speaking against democracy and all of a sudden you’re an American Capitalist??? BS.
      An American capitalist looks for talent everywhere in the world. You want to disconnect yourself and us from Armenia. So in reality YOU are the Turk. EVERY REAL Armenian knows what a Khatchik is.. You need to stop “working” on Armenian sites, troll. You’re a liar.

    • Nomads are your ancestors, Turkic shill.
      InvadoNomads have certain traits characteristic to savage nomadic Turkic tribes that invaded the Armenian Highlands and Caucasus about 1000 years ago.

      The trait has carried forward over generations to many modern Turks and Turkbaijanis, even though they have been physically sedentary for many generations.

      It’s a mental thing.
      Your frothing Anti-Armenian diatribes are one of the indicators.
      There are many others, but it’s a trade secret: I don’t share them with random strangers.

      As to blabbering: you have not written one coherent sentence in any of your several vacuous and infantile posts in this thread.
      I now can see that your education will be difficult, son.
      But we will try our best.

      btw: did you gather all your sheeps last night before retiring to your comfortable Yurt ?
      white sheeps are easy to see in the dark, but did you count all of thems black sheeps too, Nomad ?

    • Are you still calling your Turkish brothers comrades communist? Are you going to help them survive like your Russian pimps did after world war 1? You’re a liar Turk. Puppets like you are in denial and lie about Russia’s connections with Turkey. You build yourselves fantasy bubbles and run with it. Your sense of history is distorted. The pink bathrobe was also in reference to our war veteran who was abused by your Russian masters over an ACCIDENT you low life. People like you are nothing but subservients and falsifiers. You call others Turks but your arguments are those of Turks. And what are you doing in SoCal? get the hell out and move your confused brain to Russia and serve your fuhrer Putin there. Slave. You don’t belong in the free world.

    • Oh wow, Nomad: you are getting really creative, when you are hysterical.
      Liar, lowlife, simpleton, liar, serf, communist, liar: love it when the plan works; each new post from your overloaded nomadic brain is more disjointed and nonsensical.
      Is the froth that’s pouring out white or black color ?

      btw: you forgot the ‘lol’: what’s the matter you ran out of lols ?
      next time try ‘rofl’, ‘rofflolmfao’, and so on. keep practicing: there will be a Test.

      About that SoCal thing: when you and your Turkbaijani nomad illegal alien buddies go back to Baku Khanate, and you resume your official duties as court jester in the palace of Sultan Aliyev II, you may ask what am doing in SoCal.
      See ya real soon, քոչվորoğlu.
      And don’t forget to put them sheeps away tonight, ya hear ?

  19. Do you live in Russia Gina? Putin’s caravan should move to Russia. Those people have a habit of repeating regurgitated statements. They all sound the same, no individuality or creativity.
    Like clones.

    • Do you live in Turkey, Turk-oglu ‘Hagop ?
      Do you live in Turkbaijan, Turk-oglu ‘Hagop’ ?

      Those nomads have a habit of repeating Anti-Armenian regurgitated statements.
      They all sound the same, like the hordes of nomads.
      No individuality, or creativity: how could it be ? when have nomads created anything ?
      Like all other Turkic nomad clone hordes.

  20. Thank you Mr. Palandjian.
    Thank you Zohrab Balian.
    Thank you Alex.
    Thank you Vart Adjemian.
    Thank you Gina.

    I am a native Yerevantsi, currently residing in Southern California, for many, many years.
    Doing my little part to counter and debunk the massive amounts of disinformation out there in the world-wide-web about Armenia, Arstakh, and Armenians.

  21. After sixty years, we saw the reunification of Crimea with Russia. It was a wonderful event for all self-respecting Russians. By correcting the mistakes of Communism, Moscow also set a wonderful precedence for Armenians of Artsakh. It is my opinion that as long as Yerevan preserves its strategic ties with Moscow and works to cultivate better Russo-Armenian relations, we Armenians will sooner-or-later also see a similar reunification of Artsakh with Armenia – with full Russian backing. But, first thing’s first: Before we expect Russians to assist us in such a manner, we as a people need to rid ourselves of our Asiatic ways, Russophobia, political ignorance and Western agents. As long as Armenia flirts with the political West and continues to host an army of Western operative and organizations, Moscow will keep Armenia vulnerable, dependent and on a very short leash. Today, Armenia’s “complimentary politics” is a serious liability for Armenia. This is no longer the 1990s. The West is in a decline. For the foreseeable future, we will have to live with a resurgent Bear. The good news for us is that Russian and Armenian interests align. Moscow needs Armenia as a southern fortress protecting Russia’s vulnerable underbelly from Western inroads, pan-Turkism and Islam. Our enemies and their enemies are essentially the same. Armenia today has a strategic partner that is a global superpower, and one that is the alpha and the omega of Caucasian politics. We need to exploit this historic opportunity for Armenia’s long term benefit. If we want Armenia to prosper one day, we need to stop our pursuit of Western fantasies (democracy, free speech, civil society, gay rights, globalism, etc) and begin to better understand the nuances of geopolitics and Armenia’s place in it. For once let’s stop admiring Jews and let’s start acting like them. Instead of fearmongering about the growth of Russian power, let’s realize that Armenians can be in Russia what Jews are in America.

    And if we cant do any of the above and we continue our traditional self-destructive path in politics, I much rather see Armenia get incorporated into the Russian Federation. At the end of the day, it’s better to live with Russians similar to Ossetians or Abkhazians than live like a bunch of endangered gypsies under Turco-Western rule. Armenian independence from Russia means Armenian dependence on Turkey. No Russia in the south Caucasus means no Armenia in the south Caucasus. It’s all that simple. We all need to wake up from our Qaj Nazar fantasies and EUrotic dreams and realize that there are no alternatives to this reality.

    • lol. Imaginary battle lines.. where do you people come up with this stuff?? You’re obsessed with Jews too??
      Maybe we should be thankful that we have conspiracy cooks like you to keep us from being complacent and create an illusion for our enemies. Make it exciting or something.
      Personally i think your garbage is a waste of time. You don’t speak on behalf of the Armenian people. A shame really..you are very disconnected.

  22. In this article, I can say that most of the ‘mistakes’ were out of Sargsyan’s hands. The one thing that does bother me however are the awful protocols he toyed with, which I believe caused most Armenians outside of Armenia to lose respect for him. The problem wasn’t only the contents of the protocols, but how he approached the worldwide Armenian community in a defiant manner. Still it makes me wonder sometimes if even this was out of his hands and he was coerced into it. At any rate, he may not be the visionary we have all been waiting for, but at least we can be thankful he is not another Levon Ter Petrosian.

    Regrading Crimea. I hope that any Armenians claiming that Russia was the bad guy because of Crimea’s annexation would re-think their position before jumping on the Neocon bandwagon of misinformation.

    The events in Crimea are a positive for Armenia, not negative. The Neocons can’t do anything to harm Russia without harming also themselves, the EU and USA, because Putin has them chasing their own tails, since they started the Syrian invasion with their “spreading democracy” program using their favorite Islamic extremist dupe foot-soldiers. In addition, if the Neocons decide to go all the way against Russia, that is a net positive for Armenia even still, as the liberation of Nakhichevan and a common border with Russia will probably show itself on the horizon.

    The Ukrainians in the west having fallen for EU advertisements and twisted Neocon rhetoric made a serious mistake with their Euro-Maidan. Crimea was, for all intents and purposes, already in Russian hands. Besides all the Russians living there, it is a vital location for Russia’s security in the Black Sea. What fringe benefits the Ukraine was receiving for Crimea being part of it “officially” is now also lost, and no amount of Neocon empty promises and EU bailouts are going to make up for it. If 2008 Georgia did not serve as a clue, then one has to be brain-dead to believe that a Russian neighbor can go to bed with NATO and then expect to be respected the following day in the neighborhood, pun intended.

    Within this context, at least Sargsyan was sober enough to see the writing on the wall and did the right thing by joining the Customs Union. Not that I’m very happy with Russia either, because Russia has a lot of things to do yet to prove that it has Armenia’s best interests at heart. But until then I see Russia at least on the right track with respect to what’s good for Armenia’s future.

  23. There was an interesting and insightful article published today by an Indian journalist about Armenia, called “New old Armenia.” Very interesting.
    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/blink/new-old-armenia/article5810336.ece

    The following sentence gives an outsider’s perspective as to whether the Armenian people are drawn to Putin’s Russia or Western values:

    “Armenia in the years since independence from the ex-USSR has turned unashamedly Anglophile.”

    Here is another article by renowned columnist Thomas Friedman, called “Armenia is Israel,” speaking about Armenians’ inherent yearning to Western values:

    “When I was in Armenia last August, I was amazed by the level of Westernization for such a closed society”
    http://thomasfriedmanopedgenerator.com/Armenia%2Bis%2BIsrael%2B0976c4

    It also speaks about Armenia’s Spanish-speaking Shiite minority. Quite interesting read.

  24. I find it rather hilarious that this Anglo-loving, Western values-obsessed poster from above, must travel to a Hindu online business journal with the intention of trying to find more additional false information in regard to Armenia. This time, he/she is trying to convince us that Armenia has become Anglophile (a person who admires England, its people, and its culture) just because some Hindu happened to make such a claim. This is just as absurd as when he/she was previously attempting to convince us that Hitler’s superpower military could never possibly overpower Switzerland’s tiny Mickey Mouse armed forces, due to the reason that Switzerland happened to be a democracy. Anyway, on the subject of Anglophiles in Armenia, I’ve come across very few Anglophiles in Hayastan. There are actually many more people in Armenia, who admire French culture than English culture. And, there are actually so many more people in Armenia, who admire Russian culture than the French and English cultures combined.

    In terms of the article (Armenia is Israel), which he/she falsely presents from Thomas Friedman, if you all look at the very top of that particular article, what does it exactly say? It says, “This article was not really written by Thomas Friedman and this site is a spoof of the New York Times.” Even when it comes to presenting false information, this particular poster does a terrible job of it. Hey, anybody could have written that article. Perhaps it was written by an Anglophile or maybe even a Turkbaijani?

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