A Turning Point in Armenia’s Foreign Policy

Musings from a Der Hayr on the moral imperative of cultivating a reasonably sovereign state

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: “I welcome Mr. Pashinyan and his delegation. During the meeting, we reached satisfactory agreements in different directions. We have been witnessing friendly relations between our two countries since Armenia’s independence and we hope that we will witness the development of these relations during the new government’s activity. We had talks on bilateral, regional and global issues.”

The last few weeks have been filled with significant events, the first of which, of course, was Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s monumental visit to Iran. It is no exaggeration to say that this visit is a historical one; not just in terms of its ceremonial aspects, but also in terms of its content. After this visit, it is apparent that the reason relations have not further developed between Iran and Armenia is not the fault of the former, but the latter. That’s because of the previous government who had always been bound—to a degree of humiliation—to Russia and could not overcome its objection to such a meeting.

The exceptional ceremonial respect demonstrated toward Pashinyan was an important sign. The official meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and PM Pashinyan took place in the presidential palace. Furthermore, Pashinyan met with Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, in his residence. Khamenei does not meet with every leader, especially when they hail from non-Muslim countries. Various statements by Iranian leaders regarding different aspects of Armenian-Iranian relations demonstrate that the country is in good standing to rid itself of its heavy dependence on Russia, which would facilitate Armenia’s relationship with Russia to become more healthy and balanced.

Crucial to understanding Armenia’s subordination to Russia is the realization that Russia is still an imperial power, and it thinks and acts accordingly, like for example, in its monopolization of Armenia’s energy sector. It has always worked hard to limit others’ gas supplies to Armenia, resulting in the country’s near complete dependence, notably through Russian Gazprom, which controls Gazprom Armenia. A few years ago, for example, there was talk of ​​a potential railroad route to Iran’s main port, Bandar Abbas. But since the Armenian Railway Company is Russian-controlled, it never materialized. Russia even dared to intervene directly and openly when the director of the Russian State Railways, Yakoonin, stated that such a project was not economically viable. Russia’s control is so intense that it once even intervened in the production of the Armenian Army’s uniforms. Today, it is clear that the previous government of Armenia not only lacked the support of its own people, but that its public servants had many dealings with Russian cronies which limited the country’s ability to formulate a reasonably sound and independent foreign policy.

This is what makes Pashinyan’s recent trip all the more extraordinary. During the visit, Iranian President Rohani described Armenia as a transit country for gas from Iran to make its way to Georgia. If this were to materialize, it would indicate the beginning of the end for Armenia’s isolation from large international economic programs in the region, something for which Turkey and especially Azerbaijan have worked for decades and have achieved substantial success.

There is an important point related to Pashinyan’s visit to Iran that should be clarified. According to one of Armenia’s most respected political analysts and its former ambassador to Lebanon Arman Navasardian, Iran had conferred with Russia prior to making these economic proposals between Iran and Armenia public. Therefore, what happened during Pashinyan’s visit to Iran, although seemingly undesirable for Russia, had received a silent agreement because of the Iranian factor.

Some may be concerned about the United States’ position on such a visit, as well as the broader implications of deepening Armenian-Iranian relations (since it has recently voiced disapproval of such developments and it seems the primary purpose of John Bolton’s visit to Armenia last October was to make clear the anti-Iranian policies of the U.S.). But such an effort by the U.S. is in full opposition to Armenia’s strategic interests.

Prime Minister Pashinyan’s visit can be thus considered a new beginning for Armenia’s foreign policy. The implication was so powerful that Azerbaijan sources, which usually criticize and downgrade Armenia’s achievements and developments, had no other choice than to be silent, to the extent that it almost felt like the visit didn’t even take place! The same went for Armenian sources related to the Republican party and the former government. At the same time Pashinyan was in Iran, the newly elected speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly, Ararat Mirzoyan, made his first visit as a foreign official. Understandably, that visit was to Russia. Mirzoyan delivered a speech at the Russian Federal Council (the upper chamber of the Russian Federal Assembly). This was the first ever speech given by an Armenian National Assembly speaker to that body in the history of the Armenian-Russian inter-parliamentary relations. In almost perfect Russian, Mirzoyan spoke about Armenian-Russian relations in a positive and constructive matter, touching afterward upon the issue of Artsakh. He also referenced the Sumgait massacre and talked in general about the massacres and ethnic cleansings of Armenians in Azerbaijan. Notably, Mirzoyan condemned the fact that several deputies from the Russian State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian Federal Assembly) were visiting Baku at that time to participate in events dedicated to the memory of the so-called Khojaly massacre. (Believe it or not, two members of that group were members of the Armenian-Russian inter-parliamentary group.) Later on, it was disclosed that Mirzoyan had consulted with Pashinyan and added this part to the speech at the last minute.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held an official visit with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei at his residence on February 27. Such in-person meetings, especially with leaders of non-Muslim nations, are rare, says Weekly contributor Fr. Shetilian.

The next day, in response to an Armenian reporter’s question, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, tried to abdicate the responsibility of the Russian executive branch of the government saying that the question had to be addressed to the MPs. After the journalist’s assertion, Zakharova justified that the deputies are independent from the government, something that did not correspond to the reality of Russia because everyone knows that Duma’s elections are controlled by the state. On the other hand, Armenian Ambassador to Russia Vardan Toghanyan expressed his anger over the anti-Armenian actions of Russian MPs in an interview with Eco-Moscow radio station.

The previous regime was fraught with scandal and illicit personal enrichment and enmeshed in business dealings, to the extent that even the smallest demonstration of independence would have been difficult, or even impossible.

And here is the historical turning point of which Pashinyan often talked about, and we saw it from Russia’s highest official ground in a clear and powerful way in Mirzoyan’s speech. There is this component in Pashinyan’s frequent use of the word proud; the component of Armenia’s foreign policy is proud to be characterized professionally as an independent policy. Naturally, even superpowers cannot be fully independent. Everything is understood in dimensions and forms—just like an individual who is spiritually established and morally clean, an individual who has no reason to be afraid is natural and easy to be independent. It is the same case with governments and countries.

The previous regime was fraught with scandal and illicit personal enrichment and enmeshed in business dealings, to the extent that even the smallest demonstration of independence would have been difficult, or even impossible. But the new leadership of Armenia is not (yet) corrupted. Its members are for the most part not involved in private interests, and they enjoy the political, economic and—most importantly—moral support of the Armenian people (and also, it is worth mentioning, of the European states). This makes it possible for Armenia to have some semblance of an independent foreign policy.

Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that in politics, interests are the primary motivation for any decision. Today, if Russia has a military base in Armenia, it goes without saying that this is for its own strategic interests more than for Armenia’s security. The reason is obvious. Armenia is only Russia’s strategic ally left in the Caucasus, a region that was under Russian control over the past two centuries and up until the collapse of the Soviet Union. It may be that for Putin, Pashinyan is not an easy partner in comparison to Kocharian or Sargsyan, but Putin is a nationalist and respects Pashinyan, who passionately and frankly defends the national interests of his country.

Russian analysts have talked about this ad nauseum. That is one of the reasons Russia’s sale of Su-30SM fighter aircrafts—an aircraft which can also be used for offensive purposes—took place on favorable terms for Armenia. This did not happen during the previous government. This is an indication that the top leadership of Russia accepts the ‘New Armenia,’ and no matter how independent the New Armenia is in comparison with the old, Russia has decided to work with it and take into consideration its pragmatic approach.

Few talking heads will admit it, but true politics is not just a process of regulating powers and interests. Genuine politics embrace morality, one aspect of which is the protection of national dignity when it comes to foreign policy.  

In my opinion, only two things could potentially prevent New Armenia from achieving success in these dealings, the first being a war on the borders of Armenia (something that is less likely for now but still possible). The second would be if Prime Minister Pashinyan were for any reason immobilized (which is why his personal safety should remain a top priority, given that there are individuals and circles within and out of Armenia whose anti-Armenian interests contradict with the ‘New Armenia’). Otherwise, the prospect of a prosperous and militarily strong, civilized and modern country seems realistic and is not far from materializing.

Few talking heads will admit it, but true politics is not just a process of regulating powers and interests. Genuine politics embrace morality, one aspect of which is the protection of national dignity when it comes to foreign policy. Great politicians differ from the average ones in that they accomplish goals and objectives while keeping politics moral by all means and sometimes even by sacrificing their own lives. Such politicians were and are few. Among them were Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Charles de Gaulle, Anwar Al-Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin and a few others.

Here’s why Mirzoyan’s speech is historical: it is a manifesto of New Armenia’s new policies done in the right place at the right time. The ‘New Armenia’ will take its decisions independently. The ‘New Armenia’ will no longer serve the interests of others if it contradicts its own national interests. The ‘New Armenia’ will no longer ignore any attempt to humiliate the dignity of the Armenian people, no matter where it comes from. And finally, the ‘New Armenia’ will itself decide with whom and to what degree it should develop its relations, taking into consideration the supreme national and moral interests of Armenia and the Armenian people around the globe. As Pashinyan would say, “Dukhov.”

Fr. Bedros Shetilian

Fr. Bedros Shetilian

Fr. Bedros Shetilian was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1963. After attending the Armenian schools in Aleppo, he moved to Armenia and graduated from Yerevan Musical College. After Yerevan, he moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia and received a master's degree in symphony conducting from Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Between 1992 and 2003, he successfully worked as a conductor with concerts in Russia, Armenia and Europe. Fr. Shetilian attended the Catholic College in Saint Petersburg and the Seminary of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Lebanon. He was ordained as a married priest in 2003. Afterward, he was assigned to serve in the US. Since 2005, he has been the pastor of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. Over the past few years, Fr. Shetilian has occasionally cooperated with both Hairenik and Armenian Weeklies. Being a full-time pastor, Fr. Shetilian is continuing to work as a conductor as well with a goal to accomplish a successful career in the US.
Fr. Bedros Shetilian

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167 Comments

  1. “Father”, do you in all your “wisdom” realize that Russians saved Syria, your land of birth, from total destuction? Do you realize that in doing so Russia stopped a second genocide from taking place in Syria? Do you realize that your beloved Satanic government here in the US (as well as your bedfellow Jews) is behind the historic bloodshed in Syria? Do you actually think Nikolik went to Iran, Russia’s ally, without Russia’s blessing?! Most of the criticisms your Soros and CIA backed government in Yerevan was recently getting for not visiting Iran was from pro-Russian circles in the country.

    In any case, my God(!), the depth of political illiteracy and self-destructive behavior among Armenians today is absolutely breathtaking. No wonder we as a people have not been much better than gypsies for the past one thousand years. There is only one explanation for Armenian Russopobes like you: You are an agent of the West or a total/absolute idiot. For the past two hundred years an Armenia has existed because of Russia. Armenia won’t survive a week in a nasty place like the south Caucasus without Russian support.

    People like you belong in the Evangelical/Jewish propaganda tour of Azerbaijan that is currently taking place. That is your true caliber. Finally, if you represent what our Church is today, I much rather start building fires and worshiping Ahuramazda again…

    • I am in support of Russia’s constructive policy in Syria, although Russia is supporting Syria for its interest since Syria is Russia’s only ally left in the Middle-East. And that is fine. Regarding Armenia, Russia has been acting not as an ally always. Weird. Whatever I said about Russia are all based on facts. If I was an agent of the West, I would have been supporting US anti-Iran policy which as you can see I am not. It is not about Russia, Iran, US. It is about Armenia having its own policy based on its own national interests. That is already happening. Actually, it is your imagination that Pashinian needed Russia’s blessing to go to Iran. If that is the case, why Sargsyan didn’t go. Obvious. Russia didn’t let Serjik go. Pashinyan doesn’t ask for permission. He may negotiate with dignity. Bravo Pashinian! Duxov. And to be frank. Who pays you? It is well-known that such one-sided extreme words come from the old guard. Be honest, and let us know who you are. Then we find out what do you stand for. Only in this case, I can have a reasonable conversation with you. Otherwise, it’s worthless.

    • Dear Father,

      I really hope your understanding of God and Christianity is deeper than your understanding of politics and history. I agree with EVERYTHING Concerned Armenian said. Allow me to add that in realpolitik (geopolitics, international relations, etc) there is no “equal” treatment among nations, especially between large and powerful nations (e.g. Russia) and small and weak nations (e.g. Armenia). Does your beloved Anglo-American-Jewish government in the US treats Puerto Rico (one of its traditional colonies) as well as it treats, say, Delaware? Does your beloved Anglo-American-Jewish government treat the Philippines (it’s traditional ally in the Pacific Ocean) as well as it treats Britain or Israel? Allow me to also add this in Armenian:

      Քաղաքականությունը շախմատի խաղ է (մանավանդ մեծ պետությունների համար) եւ մեր նման փոքր ազգերը շախմատի կտորներ են: Խելոք փոքր ազգերը ամեն ինչ փորձում են որ շախմատ խաղցողների ձեռքում (մեծ պետությունների համար) կարեւոր կտոր դառնալ: Մի խոսքով, նրանք ովքեր խաղը լավ են հասկանում, մի տեղ են հասնում (օրինակ քո սիրած հրեաները) եւ նրանք ովքեր խաղը լավ չեն հասգանում կամ զգացմունքով եմ մոտենում քաղաքականությանը, միշտ վտանգված եւ թույլ են մնում (օրինակ մեր Բոշա ազգը):

  2. Is this a joke? Serj Sargsyan visited Iran several times during his time in office. So has Robert Kocharyan, aka “Russia’s man”, in Armenia. The railroad project fell though essentially because there was no benefit for Russia in it. Why would Moscow invest millions/billions if it’s not going to benefit in any way from it, because of Georgia. Is this author for real?

    • Yes, “visited”. But with no good deals for Armenia. Most importantly, knowing that their visits were have little impact, Iranians didn’t show the respect that they did to Pahsinian. Railroad to Iran’s main port, Bandar Abbas, so Armenia could have access to India, China, and towards that area of the world. Georgia had nothing to do with that project.

    • Dear Ter Petros,
      Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Why as Armenoid said should Russia cough up billions on a project like the one you are referring to if Russia itself is cut off from it because of Georgia? Are you that incapable of connecting the dots or is your unwarranted bias against Russia blurring your thinking? You clearly are a “Russophobe” and you clearly express a very shallow understanding of politics. Being that you are a Armenian priest and you got your higher education in the Soviet Union I can only conclude that you have been infected by “Christian Zionist” virus so many American-Armenians suffer from these days. Don’t let your comfy “suburban” lifestyle blind you to the fact that you are living in a country that is indeed run by Satan. You as an Armenian priest should appreciate the fact that Russia for all intents and purposes is the LAST remaining major CHRISTIAN power on earth. So yes my dear Ter Hayr, considering all this, you are indeed serving the devil.

    • To Gurgen: Again you started to talk about Zionism. Usually people who cannot succeed in life blame Jews for everything. Remember, that was said by Putin. https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-40136245
      Yes, the railway to Iran didn’t happen because of Russia. If the railways in Armenia was controlled by the Armenian side that would be possible. I hope we will see some changes here.
      I appreciate certainly Russia trying to be a Christian state. I have friends among Russian Orthodox clergy and I still talk to my them. I know also some who are on the top of the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and occasionally still communicate with them. But that doesn’t mean to be blind about mistakes done by Russia towards Armenia. The main problem is Russia’s imperial approach to Armenia. In fact Russia looks to Armenian as its subordinate and not ally. The weak former regime allowed that. That is ending thanks to New Armenia. I am glad also to see that Russia on the top gradually changing its behavior towards Armenia. Putin is a pragmatic politician. He talks to Pashinian as an equal partner. Bravo Pashinian! Duxov. For this, I will give credit to Putin as well.
      A question: Who is the Satan that you are referring to and controls the US? I hope not the Jews again.

    • Bedros, just like you don’t compare to the Pope, so to speak, Armenia does not compare to Russia.

      Asking for “equal” treatment is an attempt to cause trouble between the two allied nations. That said, Russia treats Armenia much-much better than your US treats its close allies. Mind you that Great Britain and Israel are not allies but partners in crime. In fact, Russia has treated our small, impoverished, remote, hapless and blockaded Armenia with white gloves during the past 25-plus years. How? Nuclear power plant maintenance, cheep oil/gas, massive military aid, military training, high volume economic trade, financial loans, largest tourism, billions of dollars in remittances from hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in Russia…

      Armenia can survive without the Diaspora. Armenia will die without Russia. Instead of poisoning the air with your Russophobic nonsense, be a real man of God and preach closer union and deeper collaboration with our Orthodox brothers to the north. In other words, learn from your beloved Jews and encourage Armenians to be in Russia what Jews are in America. Понимаю?

    • Der hayr, are you for real? You are making a very reckless and dangerous accusation against Russia and you want us to believe that you are an objective observer not to mention a man of God? What evidence did your Nikol provide to back up his outrageous claims that Russia started the war? His worthless opinion? Just because a CIA funded political opposition figure in Armenia says something, it does not make it true. Do you have an agenda here or are you just a mislead and misinformed person?

  3. I don’t believe there was anything wrong in what Shetilian said. He did not say Armenia would not work or appreciate what the Russians have done for the country I feel that he maintains it are mean you will no longer be anyone’s whipping boy. You have to respect someone who comes in that position and the Russians always respect people of power regardless of whether they can be crushed or not they respect that. It goes without saying that Armenia will always be aligned with Russia. Don’t forget That the Russians sell military hardware to the Azerbaijanis. I find nothing wrong with his comments. Concerned Armenians why don’t you put your names down like I have don’t be cowards sign your names to your comments. As a second generation Armenian that lives in the United States I believe it’s in the best interest of Armenia to stand tall play fair and respect their neighbors. My wife was born in Yerevan and I was in Armenia September 21, 1991 for six weeks living amongst the people my relatives and in a lot of the villages. I am proud that I’m an Armenian and I would defend their country with my life if Need be.

    • John, thank you for your words. Russia is a complicated country. Being an authoritarian (not dictatorship) state, but inside that box, there are different directions. Azeri’s putting millions to buy Russian politicians, journalists, etc. Sometimes they succeed. I think there was big money involved in the recent visit of the Russian MPs to Azerbaijan mentioned in my article. I think that was not coming from the top, but certainly, the top is responsible for it. I think after New Armenia making clear its new foreign policy based on defending the national dignity, that it is unlikely that such anti-Armenian activities will happen again. We will see.

  4. @Concerned. Not that you don’t have viable arguments in your overall statement, but the reality is that people like you have and continue to be the threat to our race. You scream ignorance, but your type of people Read, process and respond on a thread of arrogance. You largely assume we advocate leaving Russia to hang dry, when his arguement is far from that. The entire thesis here is to play on a mutually respected platform. Your delivery and arguement is reprehensible, you are no different than a child screaming fire in a crowd. You need etiquette and patience in politics, the reality is, people like you are the very reason Armenians have suffered for thousands of years, you represent myopic views without careful consideration to the arguement in hand. “A western agent”!?, 100% loyalty without mere respect to your own people that fought and died, you’re nothing but a troll under a bridge. Your superiors order and you march, I’m happy many Armenians have grown out of such mentality and Think independently and most importantly with respect, etiquette and with patience. I feel taking the time to write you may one day help you in a away, despite against the odds. Russophob? You sound like a propoganda.

  5. Concerned Armenians.
    I mostly agree with what you say, but I wonder if you read the full article. The writer did mention Putin giving the Iran meeting the green light. And he also said that Putin as a nationalist respects Pashinyan too. Lord Palmerston famously said nations do not have eternal allies or perpetual enemies, only eternal interests. My question is, how long do you expect Russia to keep regarding Armenia as vital to her interests? And any Americanophiles need to answer the same question.

    The Soviet Russian giving Nacxivan and Artsakh to the Tatars to appease the Turks was a negative, but it was us Brits who kept Artsakh out of Armenia’s hands in the first place, and it was the US who recognized Armenia’s independence – thus obviously inciting the Turks – and then did nothing to back it up.

    • A balanced article, articulating a delicate new Armenian foreign policy based on mutual respect towards Russia, Iran , and also the West. It was considered a vastly corrupt and
      Incompetent leadership running a country for almost a quarter century.
      Now realizing potential geopolitical realities and executing it with avant-garde bold and pragmatic visions is a fresh air we lacked dearly.

  6. Just to chime in, the author clear has a bias against Russia and a blind reverence towards the new Western-backed regime in Yerevan. This is an utter shame because the author is from Syria, a nation Russia saved from death, and got educated (i.e. մարդ դարձավ) in Soviet Union. Also, twenty or thirty years ago, I could somehow understand anti-Russian biases. Today, after all we have see around the world, after the information revolution, I can’t understand or tolerate Russophobes like this ungrateful author. Then again, this is “Armenian” behavior at its finest.

    The SU-30 deal was organized by the previous regime. With the George Soros backed regime in power today, seeing that Armenians are a self-destructive people by nature, Russia basically forced Yerevan to take out another huge loan from it in order to finalize the deal. This was done essentially to further deepen Armenia’s dependence on Russia. To which I say, good job Mr. Putin!!! Russian-backed forces in Armenia also FORCED Pashinyan to go to Iran. This is why Uncle Sam, the new regime’s benefactor, is so upset with Armenia.

    At the end of the day, without Russian oversight (and heavy handed moves when need be) our shortsighted, gypsy-like, emotional and politically ignorant people will surely destroy Armenian statehood like they have so many times throughout history. Armenia belongs fully and completely in Russia’s orbit. Armenia has to be with Russia politically, economically, militarily and, above all, culturally. Any alternative to this is Armenia’s destruction as a civilization.

    PS: Regarding the author of this article: I really wonder about some people’s unholy agenda. These people are doing the devil’s work.

    • You are right. We started to get rid of being a posha nation as you say. We are in the process of becoming an international nation. Against all odds that is exactly what Pashinian is trying to do. Coming to you. Everyone knows that the previous regime still in power and now hired some people to follow what is going on the Internet and social media. I have serious doubts that you are one of them. In order to prove that you an honest person with good intention, I think it will appropriate that you come forward and say really who you are. If not, this will mean that you are here in order to distract any healthy discussion with your sick anti-Jewish, anti-American statements.

  7. Iran didn’t need a green light from Russia. Iran talked about it with Russia. That’s different. Russia had no other choice than to agree since Iran is its important strategic partner. This is what we call balanced policies. Bravo Pashinian! Russia may dislike Pahsinian, but it is already showing more respect to Armenia.
    Regarding Artsakh and Naxichevan, Lenin Papik made a deal with Ataturk. Ataturk attacked Armenia and Lenin came as a “liberator”. How much did you get paid for your comments? I may pay more….

    • I don’t think Russia dislikes Pashinian. That’s all a bunch of mumbo-jumbo the american press tries to feed us. In this world you are either allied to the US and NATO or to Russia. Armenia has no choice but to be allied to Russia due to the fact that America is buddy buddy with Azerbaijan and Turkey. That won’t be changing until Baku runs out of oil or Turkey completely splits from NATO. Until then Armenia has to find a partnership with Russia and Iran or starve to death.

  8. Suddenly too many “pundits” with varying opinions that will not have any influence on the current Armenian government’s strategic policies. At least, I hope not.
    The reality is simply this. Armenia is a small country bordered with vicious enemies.
    Allegations that the current regime is backed by Soros is unfounded and unproven.
    Pashinian has a very difficult balancing act and we should pray that he is successful and give him a reasonable time. He is trying to develop relationships and maintaining his independence.
    It is inconceivable that Armenia does not maintain its good relations with Russia. This relationship due to many realities, especially economically and militarily cannot be abruptly ruptured or cut. We have to admit, in many areas Armenia still relies on Russia.
    However, it does not mean that Armenia should be only in Russia’s orbit. Relations with its friendly neighbors like Iran and Georgia are beneficial. Relations with the EU, and even the US can help improve the economic recovery.
    Let’s be a bit patient and see how things unfold before making grandstanding statements, allegations or insinuations.
    Vart Adjemian

    • Vart… What the readers didn’t like was obvious anti-russian tone to the article. It came across as very one sided. Shetlian should just stick to the facts of the meetings and not provide unfounded comments. Further, there was a lot of mistakes in the article. Number 1, Armenia and Iran have had good relations since nearly the time of it’s independence post-soviet departure. Many of our leaders if not all have visited Iranian leaders and have established trading and strategic relations with Iran for over 10 years. I don’t know about the Soros connections to Pashinyan. I agree that there isn’t much evidence supporting it and in fact Pashinyan seems to have solid relations with Russia so far no matter how much the West tries to make it seem like to the contrary. But there was an obvious anti-Russian tone to his writing and the readers here are not Fox and CNN viewers doused and drowned with American propaganda. They are intelligent and wanted the writer to stick to facts.

    • Aren Jacksonian,

      Regarding George Soros’ connections to Nikol: Many in Nikol’s administration (currently serving under various capacities) have been on George Soros’ payroll. It’s been documented. And many others, including Nikol himself, have been on the CIA’s payroll via the Washington based NED. That has also been documented. You can go to their respective websites and look up grants to Armenia and you’ll find dozens of names of individuals and organizations that have been receiving tens-of-thousands of dollars annually from them. There are other Western donors/benefactors that have not been disclosed yet. This is why Moscow is NOT happy with Nikol’s regime, although Nikol is doing his best to appease Moscow. Armenia today is in serious anger today. Please see the following articles.

      Бархатных переворотчиков, как бы от них не тошнило, понять можно.
      http://voskanapat.info/?p=34861&l=ru

      Мода на революцию: как молодёжь учат совершать госперевороты на западные деньги
      https://russian.rt.com/world/article/601738-moda-na-revolyuciyu

      ТЕЗИСЫ К РАЗРУШЕНИЮ
      http://www.golosarmenii.am/article/74295/tezisy-k-razrusheniyu?

      Մարիխուանայի, մարմնավաճառության, ԼԳԲՏ անձանց ամուսնության օրինականացում. Ալեն Սիմոնյանի 10 սկանդալային իրագործելիք նպատակները (լուսանկարներ)
      http://newspress.am/?p=89920&l=am/marixuanayi+marmnavacharutyan+lgbt+andzanc+amusnutyan+orinakanacum+alen+simonyani+10+skandalayin+iragorceliq+npataknery+lusankarner

      Սորոսը Հայաստանում՝ թվերով ու անուններով
      https://yerevan.today/all/society/28589/sorosy-hayastanum-tverov-u-anunnerov

      Հայաստանում երիտասարդներին ամերիկյան փողերով սովորեցրել են հեղափոխություն անել. Մարգարիտա Սիմոնյան /տեսանյութ/
      https://analitik.am/news/view/459267?fbclid=IwAR2JE8WW_xjGhw7nfWcrpNTIrkOZL8-HQAPaVt3a0xUTLtjDr_x7m2itjJA

      Հայաստանը լրջագույն վտանգների առջև, ծանր իրավիճակում է նաև վարչապետ Փաշինյանը
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crZHzqvaeKM&app=desktop

      Revolution is the new black: How Western money funds overthrow-your-government classes
      https://www.rt.com/news/451372-camp-yerevan-protests-us-money/

    • To Aren: You are saying I don’t have facts. Here they are.

      Link on Russia blocking the Armenian railway project to Iran (in Russian):
      http://armenia-news.ru/06/vladimir-yakunin-postavil-krest-na-proekte-zheleznoj-dorogi-iran-armeniya/

      On Gazprom Armenia not doing enough to get gas supplies from Iran:
      http://www.ankakh.com/article/92134/%E2%80%8Brrusakan-kvoghme-yerbyeq-chi-handurji–vor-iranakan-gaze-myez-hamar-aylentranq-darrna

      https://www.azatutyun.am/a/28810826.html

      And here is some good news:
      http://www.iran-daily.com/News/239967.html?catid=3&title=239967

      Yes, there is some anti-Russian tone in my article, but unfortunate for you it is based on facts as you can see. Will you deny the recent visit of Russian MP’s to Azerbaijan?
      http://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/2/free/politics%20news/en/79109.htm

      And most importantly. Here is an interview with Pashinian in 2016, before becoming a Prime minister, accusing Russia of knowing and approving of 2016 four days war against Artsakh by Azerbaijan:
      https://www.1in.am/2323696.html

      Do you need more facts?

      Regarding relations with Iran. Although Kocharyan and Sargsyan visited Iran, the potential of Armenian-Iran relations was far from being materialized. It was limited. Why? Because Russia won’t allow that in order to keep Armenia heavily dependent on Russia.
      Now, since Pashinian is independent and is not under Russia’s control, Iranians know that there are many things that could be done with Armenia.

    • To Concerned: Are you accusing Pashinian of being a CIA agent? O man.
      A false attempt to disorient people. The fact that some people in the new government circles received some funds from the Soros foundation doesn’t make the whole government a “Soros” government. Regarding Alan Simonian, myself I don’t like his extreme liberal views. The good news is, while Simonian was considered to be the second/third leader next to Pashinian at the beginning of the revolution now he is down in the hierarchy of “New Armenia”. He is now one of three deputies for the speaker of the National Assembly. His views don’t affect the new government. Simonian is disliked by the majority of the people in Armenia. Actually, he has been quit recently. I think Pashinian “educated” him.
      Soros foundation has been working in Armenia since 1998. If the old regime considered Soros activities as a treat why they didn’t close it?

    • Concerned Armenian – thanks for the links. I unfortunately don’t read Russian. Would like to though. Bit I’ll read the other articles. I said I haven’t seen the evidence yet of Soros connection to Pashinyan. But it would surprise me. You are definitely seeing a Rights movement for gays pushing forward in Armenia. That’s a Soros activity to control society. And the way Pashinyan took control and pushed himself into government and then disolved the Armenian Parliament and put some prior leadership on trial. Wow. That to me spells a lot of rer flags with the Pashinyan leadership. If he is under Soros’s control I can easily tell you from now Armenia is done for. It will be in the hands of Turks and Azeris within 20 years. Very dangerous. Who Pashinyan truly is will be evident within the next 5 years.

  9. Fr Shetlian was writing a propaganda based article and the Armenian readers are obviously too smart for this and smelled it out quickly. Concerned Armenian covered nearly everything I was thinking about. Armenia will be allied with Russia up until the point US is no longer allied with Turkey and Azerbaijan. But for now Azerbaijan has much needed oil. Turkey is one of the biggest NATO allies. And Trump has business ventures associated to both. Nothing will change in the near future. Further, Russia and Iran are the only decent trading partners Armenia has on its borders. Turkey and Azerbaijan are not on friendly terms. And Georgia is not big enough of a partner.

    • Aren: I said nothing about Armenia not to be allied to Russia militarily and startlingly. The thing is that Russia sometimes acted not as an ally. Whatever I put in my article all based on widely known facts. Russia just was using the weakness of the former corrupted regime. By the velvet revolution that is ended. Thank God, that happened. The good part of it that Putin is a pragmatic politician and whatever people are in nostalgy of the old regime do in order to worsen the relations between Armenia and Russia, that is not happening on the top level. In reality, in Russia on the top level, there is now more respect towards Armenia. Bravo Pashinian! Duxov!

    • Fr Shetlian … No doubt Russia uses their neighbors to their advantage. They have done so with Armenia. But they’ve also given Armenian whole lot too. In terms of weapons and an ally against two extremely aggressive neighbors that would take over Armenia in minutes if it not were for the Russian presence and military base. US has a tendency to use it’s allies too. You don’t think it takes advantage of it’s allies the same way Russia does? If Armenia were with the US it would not be in a favorable position while Baku oil and Turkish economic advantages are at stake. Very dangerous game.

    • Aren, where did you see that I made a suggestion to be a US ally? Show me. It is about fixing Russia’s approach towards Armenia.

  10. I think doctors should stick to medicine, shoemakers to making shoes, farmers to growing foods, taxi drivers to driving taxis and priests to preaching God.

  11. To Aren Jacksonian,
    Thank you for your comments.
    I totally agree that the readers of the AW are free and entitled to express their opinions in the comments section. Most of them are ethical and correct.
    What I personally do not like and object to are when they become derogatory insults and personal attacks. You may disagree and express your opinion; there is no need to become abrasive, disrespectful or insolent.
    The AW is a formidable forum to express and exchange opinions/ideas.
    There should be respect and decorum.
    Vart Adjemian

  12. Бархатных переворотчиков, как бы от них не тошнило, понять можно.
    http://voskanapat.info/?p=34861&l=ru

    Мода на революцию: как молодёжь учат совершать госперевороты на западные деньги
    https://russian.rt.com/world/article/601738-moda-na-revolyuciyu

    ТЕЗИСЫ К РАЗРУШЕНИЮ
    http://www.golosarmenii.am/article/74295/tezisy-k-razrusheniyu?

    Մարիխուանայի, մարմնավաճառության, ԼԳԲՏ անձանց ամուսնության օրինականացում. Ալեն Սիմոնյանի 10 սկանդալային իրագործելիք նպատակները (լուսանկարներ)
    http://newspress.am/?p=89920&l=am/marixuanayi+marmnavacharutyan+lgbt+andzanc+amusnutyan+orinakanacum+alen+simonyani+10+skandalayin+iragorceliq+npataknery+lusankarner

    Սորոսը Հայաստանում՝ թվերով ու անուններով
    https://yerevan.today/all/society/28589/sorosy-hayastanum-tverov-u-anunnerov

    Հայաստանում երիտասարդներին ամերիկյան փողերով սովորեցրել են հեղափոխություն անել. Մարգարիտա Սիմոնյան /տեսանյութ/
    https://analitik.am/news/view/459267?fbclid=IwAR2JE8WW_xjGhw7nfWcrpNTIrkOZL8-HQAPaVt3a0xUTLtjDr_x7m2itjJA

    Հայաստանը լրջագույն վտանգների առջև, ծանր իրավիճակում է նաև վարչապետ Փաշինյանը
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crZHzqvaeKM&app=desktop

    Revolution is the new black: How Western money funds overthrow-your-government classes
    https://www.rt.com/news/451372-camp-yerevan-protests-us-money/

    • A false attempt to disorient people. The fact that some people in the new government circles received some funds from the Soros foundation doesn’t make the whole government a “Soros” government. Regarding Alan Simonian, myself I don’t like his extreme liberal views. The good news is, while Simonian was considered to be the second/third leader next to Pashinian at the beginning of the revolution now he is down in the hierarchy of “New Armenia”. He is now one of three deputies for the speaker of the National Assembly. His views don’t affect the new government. Simonian is disliked by the mijority of the people in Armenia. Actually, he has been quit recently. I think Pashinian “educated” him.
      Soros foundation has been working in Armenia since 1998. If the old regime considered Soros activities as a treat why they didn’t close it?

    • You have a real reading comprehension problem. Nikol’s propaganda rag was on the NED’s payroll for years. The NED is a CIA front office.

    • If Pashinian was a CIA agent he would have the border closed with Iran. That was what Bolton asked him to do back in October when he visited Armenia.
      Not that Pashinian didn’t listen to Bolton, but visited Iran officially, met with the Supreme Leader and is talking on serious improvements in Armenian-Iranian relations.
      And still, Pahsinian is a CIA agent… o boy…

    • Bedros, no one said Nikol is a CIA agent. I am telling you that he is a CIA ASSET. You can be a CIA asset without directly working for the CIA. In fact, you can be a CIA asset even without knowing it. The same of course applies to the FSB/GRU. That said, Nikol did take a lot of money from a CIA backed organization in Washington (NEd) for many years. He did exist as an anti-state propagandist in Armenia for many years. He did preach anti-Russian rhetoric in Armenia for many years. All this makes him a CIA asset, whether you like it or not. Nikol’s problem is this: He is the head of a country that lives by the will of Russia. He therefore, and regardless of his CIA and Soros connections, has no choice but to dance to the tune coming out of Moscow.

      Anyway, what I really want to tell you is this: I think I figured out what your problem is. You may be watching too much television. Brotherly advice: Please stop watching James Bond movies and please stop getting your history lessons from the History Channel. It damages brain cells. Trust me…

    • To concerned: That makes Pashinian a very shrewd person. He took money from the CIA, he was a CIA asset, but now being in the power he is doing things that CIA dislikes. What a logic? Who is now James Bond or Pink Panther…wow, wow, wow… I like talking to you guys because this gives me an opportunity to take “revenge” on what people like you did with our Motherland and people over the past 20 years. Duxov! You like it or not. Pashinian is there, the majority of our nation think like I do. You like it or not. We are here and people like you will be in the garbidge of history. Duxov!

  13. I am not sure if those who criticize the author have actually read the article. I read the whole thing and didn’t see anything anti-Russian there. Some of these people leave the impression that they consider anything short of praying three times a day to Moscow Russophobia.
    Needless to say that they never forget to mix some nonsense about Soros and Israel to their same old broken record, as if Soros and Jews had nothing to do but think about Armenia. What is even more interesting is the sheer amount of ignorance. It was only a few days ago that they published the list of Soros money recipients in Armenia and instead of Pashinian and his associates, the names of the former speaker of the parliament and Robs lawyer was on the list.
    The only thing missing in their comments is Illuminati! Seriously, grow up and at least learn to express your thoughts without being vulgar. It wasn’t Nikol’s fault that after ten years of corruption and mismanagement Serjik decided to stay for another ten years. Armenia is neither Algeria nor Uganda to have “irreplaceable” leaders. Imagine what would happen if the “irreplaceable” passed away? Armenia would have left with no leader!
    Armenia has survived in that region long before Peter the Great. Russia is an important ally and I believe Pashinian’s numerous visits to Russia proves that the new government understands this. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that Armenia cannot have its own independent foreign policy. Maybe, instead of spewing out anti Semitic nonsense, we need to sit down and think how can we fill the gaps in our relationship with Israel while maintaining good friendly relationship with Iran. If Azerbaijan has been able to do it for many years then there is no reason we can’t do it.

    • Makarios was president of Cyprus, we all know what happened to makarios Cyprus. Armenia and Russia are indissoluble allies, historically , in the present and future. Pashinian has, seemingly, ample latitude, so did Serge, in the political arena, but he will not be obtuse enough to deviate from established policy, particularly in foreign relations. God forbid Armenia becomes an “international” nation. There are vociferously cry to the skies about the former government being “Corrupt”, and this “ nouveau Armenie” it’s made out to be an apparition of ethical and incorruptible moral virtues, Patience is required; wait another 2-3 years and then we shall see
      how ‘nouveau Armenie” would have performed in the corruption ranking. There is a war with Azerbaijan against Artsakh looming in the horizon, which by default it’s war against Armenia. Let’s pray that commander in chief of the armed forces Pashinian rises to the occasion in the ultimate test for the dignified national independence.

    • To Alexan: Obviously, you don’t know enough what happened to Makarios Cyprus. Military to blame who organized a coup and overthrew democratically elected Archbishop Makarios’ government. Where you have seen I am saying that Armenia should not be Russia’s ally. My point is Russia looks down to Armenia since still, it acts as an empire. Russia is the one who doesn’t look to Armenia as an ally but as a subordinate. The velvet revolution ended that, you like it or not. Actually, Russia on the top level is showing more respect to Armenia now, although some people like you who connected to the old regime are trying to worsen the relations with Russia. That is not happening.
      Regarding the corruption. One of the good things in “New Armenia” that people are able to watch and have more control over the government. If such a thing happens, they should be punished by the law. In old Armenia that couldn’t happen. The whole system from the most top up to the lowest was corrupted. There is no corruption on the top now and by the time the corruption should be decreasing in the whole system. The people should watch, follow and raise their voices. That is a good part of Armenia becoming an International nation, something that you don’t like, but something that is certainly good and that is to have a functional open civil society.
      Regarding Artsakh. Kocharian and Sargsyan were the ones who signed and followed on shameful Madrid principles. They left that burden to Pahsinian and so far he is doing everything right in order to decrease the negative impact of that burden. Azerbaijan is acting more cautiously now. Are you going to deny the fact that there is much less violence on the border? If war then war. Armenia won’t start, but if Azeri’s start a war you will see Pashinian with his backpack followed with our brave people are walking to Baku. Duxov!

    • Ritooli – haha you need to read harder then. Many saw the obvious anti-Russian tone early on.

    • To ritooli: It is widely known that the old regime hired people who watch over the Internet and Social media. This fact is well known in Armenia. The media in Armenia is full of such nonsense posts and comments every day. So, now you know who these people are. More comment, more money. And of course comments should be something against New Armenia and Pashinian, or to distract any positive publication on current Armenia. That exactly what is happening here.

  14. The thing is these people are paid by the old guard. This is a fact widely known in Armenia. They are getting paid for each comment/post that they do. For that reason, you will see this will go forever. It is also well known that 80 percent of Armenian media and sources controlled by the old guard. Recently Pashinian talked about it.

    Regarding your comments, I completely agree. Thank you. Duxov!

    • I know, I see them on FB all the time. Fake accounts, fake pictures…
      If they had 30 million in only one bank account in Armenia, imagine how much more they have in their swiss accounts. Normally, I just ignore them but sometimes they go too far, that’s when you need to put them in their place. Some others are just people who live in West yet they dream about some sort of Putin utopia! Hence all the bs about Soros and Jews yet you will never see them moving to Russia!

    • Fr Shetlian – you can keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better like we are paid trolls. Pashinian’s approach will be clear in the next 5 years and who really is behind him. Hopefully it’s not Soros and the CIA or else the country is screwed. Nothing good comes out of that arrangement. I agree with statements above that for the lost part Russia has treated Armenia very well. His air Base in Armenia and the fact that Armenia gives an open doorway of trade through Iran are huge benefits to Russia. America has done nothing productive in that region nor the middle East. All they’ve done is create one rebel terrorist group after another to fight and overthrow existing leadership. They nearly barried the Syrians and armenians in Syria with funded terrorist groups. It was the Russians that saved Syria and the armenians in Syria. All the news here on US fighting ISIS is completely bogus garbage. In fact when Russians were shooting at IsIS, America said why are you doing that? Armenia in the hands of America will be finished. Only strategy America has in Armenia is to remove the ties to Russia and the military base. Once they do that they’ll just get rid of the country. Set it into 10 years of revolutionary turmoil and killing. We will be back to 30 years ago and try to figure out how to build another couple try again. That’s been the american plan. You can see it in Syria, iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Ukraine.

    • To Aren: Surely you are paid. That is a well-known practice by the old regime. Armenia’s media 80 percent is controlled by the old guard. Regarding Russia’s policy in Syria, I already said I am in support of it. What the West did in Syria was a huge mistake. I am glad that was corrected by Trump. No one was behind the Velvet Revolution. If there was “someone” that was our nation in Armenia and Diaspora. I was so inspired and uplifted that myself traveled to Armenia during the revolution. Will you say now that I was sent by CIA or Soros? …haha…

  15. 1920 Turkey-Communist Russia invasion,1921 Turkey-Russia illegal treaty dismembering 90,000 sq.km land into 29,000 actual Armenia,IMPOSING Kars treaty
    acceptance,IS STILL IN FORCE must be REVOKED and legal borders restored .Turkey
    accepted Sevres treaty by signing,first accepted Genocide,ordered hanging government members 1919.Russia as strategic partner is a joke and lie as long as this treaty is not cancelled, until then Armenia is IN GRAVE DANGER TO BE SOLD AGAIN IN CASE OF NECESSITY.

    • You Ottoman rejects need to stop blaming Russians for the evil deeds of Bolsheviks. Bolsheviks gave up more Russian territory than Armenian territory. Bolsheviks killed more Russians than Armenians. Bolsheviks looted more Russian wealth than Armenian wealth. Bolsheviks tookover Russia to destroy it. Bolshevism was Western funded and led almost exclusively by Jews. Communism was Russified after the World War 2. Armenians are supposed to be a smart people. So what’s wrong with you people?

    • America, to the benefit of their partners Baku and Istanbul, will sell Armenia tomorrow to savages if they get their hands on Armenia. There is zero benefit that Armenia provides to the US. Only thing US wants out of Armenia is to remove the Russian military base and to close the trade border with Iran to further suffocate Iran with sanctions.

  16. to Aren Jacksonian,
    I did not say you personally were disrespectful. Your own comments were appropriate and on target.
    I was referring generally to other commentators postings. I see no need to mention specific names, as most of them use nicknames and are reluctant to reveal their true identity. This makes me wonder who they really are.
    Vart Adjemian

    Vart Adjemian

    • I think we are all emotional Armenians who love our country and want the best for it. Including the writer Fr Shetlian. There is obviously a split in Armenians on where they feel Armenia would have a better partnership. Some say US (generally those are Tashnak based armenians from US) and others say Russia. Some say none but they don’t understand Armenia is not China and can’t stand on it’s own. And has dangerous neighbors. Eventually if the US is no longer tied to Baku oil and Turkish dependency for NATO and economic benefits, then yes, maybe Armenia will have relations with US. But until then Russian friendship and an Iranian trade corridor is a must. But people noticed an obvious anti Russian tone to the article. And also Fr Shetlian made it seem like relations with Iran are new or new without Russian acceptance now but reality is Armenia and Iran have had economic ties for over a decade and more. And Russia and Iran are partners tied both in trade and military strategy.

    • To Vart: As I told you they are hired by the old guard. They are making good money on this article. Ask anyone from Armenia and he will tell you.

    • To Aren: You are wrong. I live in the US and I am a pastor and I meet a lot of Armenians. I never met anyone who says that Armenia should not be Russia’s political and strategic ally, or that the Russian base should not be there. Overwhelmingly, the vast majority of the Armenians understand that for obvious reasons.
      Regarding your argument about my anti-Russian tone. Is Russia God that we can say nothing regarding its imperialistic approach to Armenia? To be clear I cannot have an anti-Russian tone in general. I cannot be anti-Russian. I was educated in Russia, and Russian culture had a major impact on me and I am a big follower of Russian arts and Orthodox culture. Having said that, it is unfortunate that Russia’s policy towards Armenia was bad up to until the velvet revolution. Russia acted not as an ally, but as a boss and actually a bad boss. The fact that Russia didn’t allow Armenia to have balanced economic relations with other countries, the fact that Russia has been selling and still selling advanced offensive weapons to Azerbaijan and most importantly, the fact that Russia was behind the war of 2016 is not enough for you to be angry on Russia?
      Here is Pashinian in an interview, back in 2016 accusing Russia of this: https://www.1in.am/2323696.html
      Can you still say that everything is all right with Russia? Actually, the anti-Russian tone is not only mine, but it is common in Armenia now. It is easy to find out. So don’t make Russia God that cannot be criticized. Russia made huge mistakes with Armenia, but I am glad to see that things are changing.
      Regarding Armenia’s relations with Iran, everybody knows that they were far from being fully materialized. Yes some relations, limited. Russia didn’t allow. Iranians knew this. For that reason, Kocharian and Sagsyan had only short working visits, but Pashinian had an official 3 days visit and met with the Supreme Leader. Iranians signaling that they are interested in working seriously with Armenia, something that there was not there before.

  17. To Vart: As I told you they are hired by the old guard. They are making good money on this article. Ask anyone from Armenia and he will tell you.

    • Fr Shetlian… Thank you for your response. Although I don’t agree with all of it but thanks. First off, economic ties always change between countries as time goes forward. Iran has heavy trade through Armenia. In fact Armenia has a mosque in Yerevan specifically for Iranian merchants running business through Armenia for over a decade. Can Pashinyan update those ties and make it better and bring more business? Sure. Yes. But you made the article appear that Armenia is sort of slapping Russia in the face by making NEW arrangements. That’s not the case. It’s just an update to the arrangements that exist. But make no mistake. The US is the one telling Armenia not to have relations with Iran. Not Russia. US is putting sanction pressure on Iran to suffocate them. They haven’t been happy with Armenia aiding Iran in trade and also have recently put more pressure on Armenia to not buy weapons from Russia. Threatening Armenia with sanctions if the do. Secondly I don’t say Russia is God. Russia and US are the exact same. They are world powers who utilize others around them for their own advantage. Russia during the initial Karabakh was actually helping the Azeris. They aided the Azeris against the Armenians. After the war when Baku decided to side with the US, Russia changed course and became buddy buddy with Armenia. But the fact that Russia established a base in Armenia tells you a lot about their future partnership intentions with Armenia. Russians sell weapons to Azerbaijan simply for one thing. Money! Just the same as to why US sells weapons to terrorist organizations. Money. Armenia is also part of the CSTO organization and alliance which is spear headed by Russia. Also, I have personally met Armenians here, almost all Tashnaks, that feel Armenia is wasting it’s time with Russia. They don’t like Russia. They live in the US and are tied to American allegiance. They just don’t understand though the unfavorable position it would put Armenia into. Currently. Now it may change later. Maybe in 10 years. Who knows. But right now now way. Russia is the way to go. Still a more favorable partnership. And they haven’t been that bad of a partner. Are the Russians going to look after their own agenda? Absolutely. Just as the US does. Just as China does. But currently, relations with Russia are both strategically and economically more beneficial. Thanks for responding.

    • To Aren: – Your argument is wrong saying that my article looked like “slapping Russia in the face by making NEW arrangements”. My whole article’s point is for Armenia to have balanced relations with its partners and neighbors, and not to be Russia’s subordinate. I can see here that your comment is misleading.
      – The problem you brought about US putting pressure on Armenia for Iran. Did I say anything that contradicts with yours? Did I say that Russia in recent days putting pressure on Armenia for Iran? That was in the past. Thankfully for New Armenia and Pahsinian, that cannot happen anymore, since Pahsinian won’t listen to Russia on this matter. Russia does not control Pahsinian like controlled Kocharian and Sagsyan. Yet, Pahsinian respects Russia, talks to Russia, understands the importance of Armenian-Russian Relation. Just to remind you of what I put in my article on this issue.” Some may be concerned about the United States’ position on such a visit, as well as the broader implications of deepening Armenian-Iranian relations (since it has recently voiced disapproval of such developments and it seems the primary purpose of John Bolton’s visit to Armenia last October was to make clear the anti-Iranian policies of the U.S.). But such an effort by the U.S. is in full opposition to Armenia’s strategic interests.” Bringing this issue in this way is out of the contest. It looks also misleading.
      – Well, I am glad that finally, you agree that Russia can be criticized, that an anti-Russian tone is right taking into consideration the huge mistakes that Russia did towards Armenia, This anti-Russian mood is the mood of the majority of people in Armenia now. However, this can be changed if Russia looks to Armenia as its ally and partner, and not as subordinate. I really want Armenia to have healthy relations with Russia. More, I am glad to see that after “New Armenia” there are some signs that this change is happening. Yes, Putin is a Russian nationalist and imperialist. But Putin also is smart and pragmatic. That gives some hope. We have to wait and see.
      – I am surprised that you avoided mentioning Russia’s role in the 2016 war, although, that was in my previous message with proof links. Interesting, you talk on many issues, but avoid talking on main Russia’s disastrous mistake in Armenian-Russian relation of the last years, and that is the fact RUSSIA WAS BEHIND THE WAR OF 2016. This looks like you are dancing around and not straight to the point. This makes me also suspicious of you.
      – If Russia is a real decent ally, if Russia is our older brother (like Russia subordinate ethnic Armenians would say), then it won’t sell defensive weapons to its ally’s enemy even for money, even for billions, weapons that can be used against its ally, and by a regressive country that its real agenda is to wipe out Armenia from the map. Aliyev says publicly that Yerevan (Erivan in his words) is an Azeri city and they will take it back. Are you kidding me?
      – It is not important what some Armenians say about Russia. They are few since the majority of our nation understands the importance of Armenian-Russian relations, but these relations should be healthy. That is what Pashinian is trying to do. Bravo! The whole nation is behind you, Mr. Prime Minister. Duxov!

      I don’t know why I put this long-long response for you. Maybe it is my last attempt to find out who you are since I am suspicious of who you are. Let see what will be your next response if there will be one.

  18. Armenoid touched upon a very important point in his last comment. Instead of fear mongering and writing nonsense, Armenians in positions of influence regardless of how big or small (such as our dear Ter Hayr) need to start preaching closer union with Russians.

    There are millions Armenians living in Russia today. In fact, the Russian-Armenian diaspora is by-far the largest and the most affluent in the world. Prominent Armenians can be found in literally every sector of Russian society. We as a people need to figure out a way to tap into this potential for the benefit of Armenia. Articles like this and our pathetic Russopobes don’t help. What’s more, Russian and Armenian geopolitical interests coincide to a great degree. Russia sees Armenia as a strategic asset that needs to be protected at all costs. In fact, after Armenians, Russians are the ONLY people on earth that would willingly spill the blood of their young men for Armenia. Look at the sacrifices Russians have made for Syria (a country far away from Russian borders) and imagine how much more they would for Armenia (a country that protects their southern border).

    Russia is a historic opportunity that Armenia has not had in over one thousand years. Russian-Armenian relations have to deepen, if only for Armenia’s sake. We are not working on this strategic endeavor essentially because our attention is constantly being drawn toward the Western world. Everything about the West is toxic. As Aren already pointed out, Western powers are in the south Caucasus to exploit energy resources and start trouble with Russia and Iran. Nothing goo will come out of closer relations with the West. If Nikol even dares to try to take Armenia out of Russia’s orbit he will suffer the fate of Vazgen Sargsyan. Thus far, Nikol has been sober enough (despite his Soros an CIA connections) to play nice with the Russian Bear. But, that is not enough. We need to play closely and more efficiently with the Russian Bear. For Armenia’s long term health and well being.

    We as a people need to learn from Jews how to fully embrace a powerful ally and make the ally see the world through its eyes. Articles like this and our disgusting Russopobes don’t help. Sadly, I’m afraid we Armenians will remain a self-destructive people, and Armenia will as a result remain a small, weak and endangered nation. Ironically, we Armenians admire Jews for their political agility and foresight, yet when the times come to act like Jews in politics we instead act like Arabs an Kurds…

    • Concerned Armenian… I loved that Kurd and Arab comment in the end. That was funny and in some ways true. Problem with Armenians is that we are sometimes too smart for our own good. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Everyone thinks they have the best idea send instead of resolving something they just argue. I agree with Russia being Armenia’s main partner. One time Putin was asked about Armenian immigration out of the Armenian republic since it’s been so heavy. He said if the Armenians don’t want Armenia, I’ll want it. That’s how important it is for us. And one time he also joked about the fact that there are more Armenians in Russia than anywhere else in the world. And he said I feel at times I am the President of Armenia. Russia and Armenia are undoubtedly tied to an alliance. But a lot of it is also Armenia’s inability to really venture out for more. They are heavily dependent on Russia for financial factors but even more so militarily. Let’s not forget Armenians also have a massive Lobby force in the US and have a lot of influence here as well. The trick for Armenia just like any other country is to balance out their friends and utilize them but never be fully tired to them forever. Azerbaijan and Turkey play this game well actually with the West and East And middle East. And of course they are in better position to do so. But Armenia always has to think about where they can best take advantage for themselves and never be tied to a world power forever. But that said, I do agree Russia is so far a seemingly better partner, more trustworthy, and is tied to Armenia both historically, socially, and culturally.

    • To Concerned; Yes million of Armenians in Russia, “macho Armenians”, but they couldn’t stop Russia from being behind the 2016 War by Azerbaijan against Artsakh. What a shame. Russian Armenians have to be better organized and work.

      Pashinian accusing Russia being behind 2016 war:
      https://www.1in.am/2323696.html

      And more proof links on Russia’s role in 2016 war:
      https://www.1in.am/2323696.html
      https://www.aniarc.am/2018/04/01/my-article-in-analitycon-may-2016/

      Yerevanian answered very well to ethnically Armenian, but indeed Russian Imperialist people like you:
      However, our deeply concerned Russian nationalist commentators are just not capable of accepting the slightest bit of rightful criticism against their country; instead, they endlessly preach the same old garbage that Armenia must always obey the orders of their beloved Russia. Well, if these sleazy, putrid degenerates adore their beloved Russia so much, then what explains the reason that they refuse to go back to live in their beloved Russia? And how enormously low-class they are in harassing and attempting to intimidate an elderly Armenian priest. Furthermore, this particular online Russian nationalist gang doesn’t even represent the views of the vast majority of Russians. I actually have several Russian friends, over here in Yerevan; they’re very polite, courteous, and well-mannered. We frequently converse together about the important relationship between Armenia and Russia; and, they have no problem accepting the wrongs that their country has committed against Armenia in the past.

  19. To put trade figures in the proper perspective, according to World/Armenia Trade statistical sources. Latest figures available.
    Total Exports from Armenia $ 2.1 billion
    Exports to Russian Federation $ 541 million ( 25 % of exports)
    Exports to Iran $ 84 million ( 4% of exports).
    Total Imports by Armenia $ 3.9 billion
    Imports from Russian Federation $ 1.1 billion ( 30% of imports)
    Imports from Iran $ 174 million ( 4% of imports).
    Two elements stand out:
    1- Armenia has to find means to increase its exports to a wider range of countries with an expanded product line, to improve GDP and its economy. The size of the deficit is not sustainable.
    2- Armenia’s major trading partner, for understandable reasons has been Russia.
    3- Trade relations with Iran has not been robust. Hopefully this will change.
    Vart Adjemian

    • To the credit of both Serzh and Pashinian they have been trying to expand economic abilities. They both have met with Islamic countries like Iran and UAE. Pashinian has also reach out East for ties with China in this arena. EU activity to Armenia I think has been deficient. But Armenia needs to be able to sell something to have bigger economic interests. They have been letting go of farming over the last 20 years which is really their backbone. The new Armenia is trying to sell intellectual property. Hence, Tuma center for intellectual development.

  20. There was certainly nothing wrong about Bedros Shetilian’s article, nor was his article “anti-Russian.” However, our deeply concerned Russian nationalist commentators are just not capable of accepting the slightest bit of rightful criticism against their country; instead, they endlessly preach the same old garbage that Armenia must always obey the orders of their beloved Russia. Well, if these sleazy, putrid degenerates adore their beloved Russia so much, then what explains the reason that they refuse to go back to live in their beloved Russia? And how enormously low-class they are in harassing and attempting to intimidate an elderly Armenian priest. Furthermore, this particular online Russian nationalist gang doesn’t even represent the views of the vast majority of Russians. I actually have several Russian friends, over here in Yerevan; they’re very polite, courteous, and well-mannered. We frequently converse together about the important relationship between Armenia and Russia; and, they have no problem accepting the wrongs that their country has committed against Armenia in the past.

    In terms of Vladimir Putin, he is a reasonable man, and I’m sure that he understands and respects the fact that Armenia’s new foreign policy is going to be based on its own national interests and not the national interests of Russia. As a result, the relationship between Armenia and Russia, will become a more healthy, balanced relationship.

    Good job by Ararat Mirzoyan (Armenia’s National Assembly Speaker) in delivering that speech to the Russian Federal Council, and condemning those Russian deputies for participating in that Baku ceremony, dedicated to Azerbaijan’s invented “Khojaly genocide.”

    As for Prime Minister Pashinyan (who enjoys the support of over 95 percent of Armenia’s citizens), his extremely fruitful visit to Iran is indeed a new chapter in Armenia’s foreign policy. Unlike those three previous presidents, who endlessly played the role of a butler to the Kremlin, that will not be happening anymore. Prime Minister Pashinyan, has already shown us that he is truly devoted to the Republic of Armenia, as well as the Republic of Artsakh. Keep up the good work, Nikol! Our beloved Armenian national hero, Vazgen Sargsyan (Sparapet Hayots), is smiling at you from heaven.

    • To Yerevanian: Your comments are reasonable and healthy with good intention, covers some additional important issues.
      I would like to communicate with you. I will ask the editor to send you my email address. You may also find me on facebook.
      God Bless. Duxov!

    • Yerevanain… I think you completely missed the point of the comments. You were way off the mark and accused the commenters of being something and representing something they likely are not. Truth is people can’t seem to take some criticism. And I’m not Russian nor ever loved in Russia but still saw the one sided way in which the article was written. The call from the comments was to have an article written in unbiased fashion and fo represent facts. You and Fr Shetlian may see these discussions with Iran as new. But many of the comments indicated that they are nothing new. We have seen these discussions and visits with Iran before. There is definitely a lot of renewed energy and a feeling of a new Armenia. One with new direction. Hopefully Pashinyan is able to deliver on that. But he’s one man. The people of Armenia need to remember they are responsible for that direction as well. Pashinyan is not creating the new business and working in the farms. He is just trying to open opportunities.

    • To Aren: Here we go. A huge attempt of misleading by you. The article’s main topic is Pashinian’s visit and not the history of the relations between Armenia and Iran. It looks like very naïve if I thought that I could send a message in my article, that there were no any relations between Armenia and Iran prior to Pashinian’s visit since everybody knows about it and it is well documented. Here is a quote from my article:” After this visit, it is apparent that the reason relations have not further developed between Iran and Armenia is not the fault of the former, but the latter”. There is a clear indication here that there were relations prior to Pahsinian’s visit. Are you blind not to see that? I think you can see, but as I said it is an attempt to disorient people and create a storm out of noting.
      You are still continuing to talk of my article lacking facts when already I sent to you proof links twice. Yes, there is something here about you.

    • Aren Jackson,

      No, you thought wrong; I completely understood your pointless, way off the mark, misleading comments, as well as those of your Russian nationalist buddies.

      As for Bedros Shetilian’s article, it was a very fair article, consisting of facts. As for Pashinyan’s visit to Iran, it was truly a monumental visit due to the reason that he acted independently and did this without asking for Russia’s approval. Furthermore, during his visit, he elevated the important relationship between Armenia and Iran.

    • It’s funny how everyone thinks I’m Russian or love Russians. I’m not Russian nor ever lived there. In fact I think both Russia and US are the same bull. Both imperialist powers that try to use anyone they can to their own advantage. What I’m saying, which a lot of other commenters you are blind to are indicating is that Russia is the partner they need now. Will that change in 10 years? Maybe. And we are also saying that we don’t agree with your statements in this being some new turning point. We see this as furthering existing relations with Iran. If you don’t like our comments? Tough. Live with it. And you obviously anti-Russian. Just the way you said “macho Russians” in a comment back to Concerned Armenian indicates what you feel about those Armenians and Russia. And those articles you sent are from one source and opinions of people. Russians did not start that conflict in 2016. Azerbaijan has been aggressive on the border for years. And I’d you did any research. Any! You would realize the 2016 attacks really based on what was happening in Azerbaijan leading up to the conflicts which were caused by Aliyev. First off there was a huge hit to the oil prices for two years leading up to those events which were shattering Azerbaijan whose enter economy was 96% oil export dependent. People were starting to protest Aliyev and the leadership in Baku. And the Panama Leaks occurred then literally the weekend of the attacks in April 2016. Aliyev cought word of those leaks because his name was all over it for gold mining ventures in Asia. That he was using billions from his country’s money for his own good mining. He knew with the protests and anger that it was going to be a major issue. So he attacked Artsakh to take attention away from the leak information which came out the following days after those attacks. Bow people in Azerbaijan were in streets supporting the war effort instead of protesting him further for a bad economy and stealing funds for personal use. That’s the real reason those attacks happened. You don’t have to read those useless articles to realize that. Just need to put a timeline of information together. How quickly we forget history.

  21. I can’t believe no one here brought up LTP. Levon is Nikol’s longtime mentor. Nikol is carrying out Levon’s agenda. Nikol is Levon 2.0. Nothing good will come out of the situation in Armenia. The West is not happy. Russia is not happy. We may even end up losing terrotires in Karabakh.

    • Nikol is nothing like Levon; he’s the exact opposite of Levon. And unlike Levon, Robert and Serzh (who endlessly served their Russian masters, and endlessly neglected the citizens of Armenia), Prime Minister Pashinyan is making his own decisions without permitting anyone to give him orders. On top of that, he is doing everything possible to improve the lives of Armenia’s citizens. This explains the reason why his popularity is so huge in Armenia.

    • Yervanian… Popularity is there. But let’s wait 2 to 3 years to see the improvements. I remember the same when Kocharian became the leader. Everyone for years was complaining about Levon and the terrible job he did. Kocharian came through on a wave of popularity and didn’t fare off much better. And to really have the Karabakh situation in Armenia’s favor they need to have Russia push for the settlement in their favor. EU and US have historically done nothing to help Armenia in that area. Actually last few years they were doing everything possible to give the lands back to Azerbaijan. Starting with that water rights issue.

    • Aren Jackson,

      “Improvements”? There have already been improvements. Prime Minister Pashinyan’s extremely fruitful visit to Iran, by itself, was a big improvement. He did this on his own, without the approval of Russia. In addition, many more jobs have been created since his arrival; as a matter of fact, he intends to increase job salaries.

      In terms of the Artsakh situation, yes, the EU and US have historically done nothing to help Armenia in that area, but neither has Russia. Anyway, even without the help of those three, the Turkbaijanis are not militarily capable of taking Artsakh.

  22. To Yerevanian: Since you are in Armenia you should know that these people are hired by the old regime to watch over the Internet. They are making money out of this and this money is our people stolen money. Now, they ended with one subject and started a new one. In this case, that is Der Bedrossian-Pashinian connection. This will never stop.
    Concerning your comments. Well done. I completely agree. Duxov!

  23. When Armenia gets the bomb the not only Azerbaijan and Turkey will fear us but our ally Russia and USA will be respectful

    • Sero… If the idea here is to get a nuclear weapon to intimidate turkey and Azerbaijan and have our way with America and Russia with it, that’s a mistaken concept. You may keep waiting for a long time. Let’s talk real solutions within the current state of where we are. Hopefully wishes are wishes.

  24. Nikol is Levon’s street shunik. Nikol has only made things worst not only externally but also internally. Armenians like him because Armenians are self destructive with peasant and merchant mentality. Armenians also liked Levon ten years ago. But soon enough when the idiots wake up and realize that they are still unemployed and still hungry and they lost territories in NKR they will turn on Nikol also. Just wait. Armenians have never been good with politics. Today is no different.

    • Norserunt… I don’t agree or disagree with your comment. But it’s really difficult to see who Nikol is associated to yet. If it really is LTP we are screwed. But I don’t think anyone knows yet. It is real interesting how Nikol came to power and cleaned the old guard. Someone like that doesn’t suddenly out of no where come to power and take possession of a country. Someone is behind Nikol. Funding Nikol. Empowering Nikol. Who that is? I think we will know in the next 2 to 3 years. If it is Soros or LTP, no good…

    • Aren,

      Nikol and his cohorts keep talking about ridding Armenia of its “20 year” old problem with corruption. In other words, Kocharyan and Sargsyan is said to be the problem, not Levon. Nikol met with Levon shortly after coming to power. Nikol met with Levon not to question him or put him on notice (for Levons treasonous acts throughout the 1990s) but to get “advice” from him on Artsakh. Moreover, Levon’s political party has locked-step with Nikol’s movement from day one. Levon’s followers have been fully behind Nikol’s movement. Moreover, Nikol’s rhetoric on Artsakh – as well as his push to bring globalism and liberalism into Armenian society – is also very Levonite in nature. Moreover, and after all, for many years Nikol was Levon’s acolyte. So, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, sounds like a duck…

    • Again, the same pile of vomit being spewed by those same individuals who hate everything about Armenia, and therefore wish for its destruction.

      Levon wishes that Nikol was his “shunik.” And so does Putin, who did such a lovely job of training his two former shuniks, Robert and Serzh. However, Nikol does not take orders from anyone; he acts independently.

    • Concerned Armenian… Ya that’s worrisome. I know someone has pushed Nikol into power. If it’s Levon then it’s not likely good news for Armenia.

  25. There is no question that Nikol is the by product of Levon, Soros and the CIA.
    There is also no question that Nikol is carrying out a Neo-Marxist/Globalist agenda inside Armenia. However, because Armenia lives because of Russia, Nikol has no choice today but to dance to the tune being played in Moscow. No Russia in Armenia, means no Armenian in the south Caucasus. That has been so for the past 2 hundred years. This will remain so well into the foreseeable future. Period. The moment Nikol tries to separate from Russia, he will either be assassinated or we will lose Artsakh. The good news its, I can’t imagine any Armenian official, regardless of their ties to Levon, Soros or the CIA, going that route. Armenia will remain in the Russian orbit at all costs. Therefore, the real worry is cultural and civilizational. In other words, the real worry is what Armenians are doing inside Armenia. Armenian culture is in a steep decline today because of Westernization, Globalization and Americanization. This is why Armenia need Russia not only politically, economically and militarily, but also culturally.

    • To Armenoid: Собака лает, а караван идёт, you Russian Imperialist.
      This is for people like you: “Our tragedy are not the Turks, but Turk like Armenians”, Karekin Nejteh.

    • Dear Bedros,
      I never was a Russian Imperialist. IN fact, my ideological inclinations have always been Njtehakan. But, I should admit that the more I interact with Armenians like you, the more I am beginning to see Russian Imperialism as Armenia’s safest alternative to survive in this nasty world.

    • There is no question that Nikol was put into power by the citizens of Armenia. Over 95 percent of Armenia’s population supports him. There is also no question that Nikol is carrying out an agenda that is fully devoted to improving the lives of Armenia’s citizens and making Armenia a stronger and much more respectable country, unlike the three previous “presidents” who did nothing more than play the role of the Russian president’s butler.

      And because Nikol knows well that Russia cannot survive without Armenia in the south Caucasus, he is therefore dancing to many different tunes, here in Yerevan.

      And again, Nikol has never attempted to break off Armenia’s important relationship with Russia. Just because he acts independently and does not allow anybody to dictate to him what he can and can’t do, has absolutely nothing to do with attempting to break off Armenia’s important relationship with Russia.

      And contrary to your Stalinakan ideological inclinations (he hated everything about Armenians, and wanted to make Armenia an extremely weak state), the people of Armenia, today, have become stronger and more unified.

      You uncultured runts continuously claim that Armenia needs Russian culture. Hey, your culture has absolutely nothing in common with the Armenian culture. Your culture has existed for less than one thousand years, with a horrible-sounding language, ridiculous-looking alphabet, and disgusting cuisine. On the other hand, the Armenian culture is a rich, colorful, beautiful culture that has existed for at least five thousand years. Its language, alphabet, and cuisine are unmatched by any of the other cultures.

    • Says a “Yerevanian” gypsy who would run back to “Los” the minute Russian troops leave Armenia and Turks show up at the border. I see we have a lot of Qaj Nazars in our midst. It’s nothing short of suicidal delirium to think that Russia needs Armenia more than Armenia needs Russia. At the end of the day, I wish we Armenians were as “uncultured” as Russians… if it meant being a superpower for the last five hundred years. The sad fact is, not only are we Armenian the uncultured ones, I mean look at the pathetic state of Armenian culture today, but also the ones that cannot survive left on our own. Culturally, Russians are light years ahead of us. You Qaj Nazars go on and relish in your beloved Afro-American-Turko-Kurdish “independence” culture.

    • Armenoid… i couldn’t stop laughing. that was a great comment. agreed with the Russia needs us more than we need them approach and thinking. that’s crazy. i mean Russia does need us for the base and the avenue through Iran for trade. but in the end of the day, we need Russia and their influence over the region way more than they need us. without Russia there, Azerbaijan and Turkey would have swallowed Armenia whole by now.

    • And without Armenia in the south Caucasus (which therefore means that Turkey and Azerbaijan would be connected to one another), Russia will easily be swallowed by a combination of the Turkic countries, NATO, Europe, and China. I certainly don’t think that our deeply concerned Russian nationalist commentators would be laughing at that particular moment.

    • Yerevanian, with all due respects if you represent “patriotic” Armenian thinking today Armenia is doomed.

    • Gurgen: Yerevanian has its point. Russia is in Armenia because of its own interest, not because he is doing a favor to us. Here we have a common interest together with Russia and Iran as well and that is not to allow Turkey to be connected directly to Azerbaijan.

  26. Aren Jacksonian
    I don’t see why this is a mistaken concept this will ensure our country’s survival and being less dependent since other country’s have tried this but if you mean that they will have it also and we will be under sanction like North Korea and Iran which will ruin Armenia’s already weak economy that is a different story and I completely understand

    • Sero… I”m not saying what you are saying is wrong. If Armenia got Nukes, awesome! Great. I just think we are way away from that right now and we need to think about what Armenia will do in the current state without Nukes. But I think in the end of the day, Nukes are not as scary as they used to be. Because the only country so far that’s had the balls to use them has been the US. Most countries know the only country crazy enough to use them would be the US

  27. Nope, I’ve got my rifle and I’m ready to go; it’s fully loaded too. I’m ready for the Turks/Turkbaijanis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    “I mean look at the pathetic state of Armenian culture today.”

    Yes, for Russian nationalists such as yourself, everything about Armenians and their culture is “pathetic.” This has exactly been your people’s attitude towards Armenians for the past five hundred years.

    I’ve actually seen some of those Russian troops, over in Gyumri. They look like hooligans. They drink too much vodka and smoke too much weed. They certainly don’t look like they’re capable of fighting. Let me again remind you that each of the times that Azerbaijan launched military attacks against Armenia, the Russians never did a damn thing to assist the Armenian soldiers. Therefore, it really wouldn’t surprise me if those five thousand incompetent, clumsy Russian soldiers were to run back to “Mos” upon an all-out invasion by the Turks. After all, Russia does not care the slightest bit about Armenians being killed; the only reason why they’re in Armenia is because of their national interests. Even you know that!

    And again, whether you like it or not, the Russian culture is at least four thousand years behind the Armenian culture.

    • Spoken like a true gypsy. If you don’t see the pathetic state of Armenian culture today I pity you.

    • Yerevanian, you haven’t seen any Russian soldiers, you probably don’t even know how to hold a gun. So, please stop your nonsense, it’s not fooling anyone. Russia’s military has no competition in this world. When it comes to war, I rather have a drunk Russian next to me than a rabiz lakot. Regarding culture, Russian culture is actually unparalleled. But it would take an educated person to know any of this.

    • Armenoid, my sentiments exactly. There people are either Uncle Sam’s (or Keri Soros’) cyber warriors or just your typical “rabiz lakot choban” types. It’s amazing how an Armenian, who represents a tiny and impoverished nation that has been robbed, beaten and slaughtered for over a thousand years, and who today resembles gypsies and Kurds, look down at Russians, a nation with enviable high culture, a nation that has been the world’s largest and most powerful for centuries. Simply amazing. Like I said, either agents of the West or idiots. No other explanation.

  28. The whole point of Armenian-Russian relations that there is mutual interest. Armenia’s interest is clear and that is its security. Russia’s interest is Armenia being its only ally left in the region. As long as Russia is an empire it will be interested in Armenia, we want it or not. There is no other country in the region that will allow a Russian base on its territory other than Armenia. Even Belarus doesn’t agree to have a Russian base. This is fine because that is how real life is. In addition, Russian culture is highly valued and it is important that Armenia continues to develop and deepen its cultural relations with Russia. One other field could be is for Armenian Apostolic Church working with the Russian Orthodox Church. Economically the cooperation with Russia looks less valuable since Russia’s economy is not in good shape and it is not effective.
    There are always traitors in every nation. So-called Armenians, who talk down to our nation are either brainwashed or hired by the old regime to distract any positive posting about “New Armenia” and Pashinian. They are dreaming to come back. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

    • Ter Hayr,
      You are finally beginning to make sense. I guess you prayed hard yesterday.
      I resent the previous regime just as much as I resent the current one. The previous regime after all got us to here we are today. My fear is that the current regime, due to its pedigree, can make things worst. Regardless of Nikol’s CIA/Soros connections, if he can deepen/strengthen Armenia’s ties to Russia, I will have no problems with him.
      My fear however continues to be internal and cultural/civilizational. Armenia is literally drowning today in Globalism and Americanism. Armenian culture is dying because of toxic Afro-American and Turco-Kurdish influences. This is why I say Russia is not only the remedy to preserve Armenian statehood, Russia is also a remedy to preserve Armenian culture. We even saw this during Soviet times, when Armenian culture was actually flourishing.
      Thank you for your comment about the need to work more closely with the Russian Orthodox Church. There is also a vast potential there that is also not being explored ultimately due to our people’s backwardness and political illiteracy. Our self-destructive peasantry in the homeland and our utterly assimilated Diasporans are so enamored by the Anglo-American-Jewish lifestyle that their collective attention is always placed on destructive/expolitive Western institutions such as the IMF, NED, USAID, British Council, George Soros, the Vatican, etc.
      Had we been like the Jews, we would have saturated Moscow with our businessmen, activists, politicians and military officials. When it comes to lobbying efforts in Russia, Armenians are MIA. Why? Because our enemies somehow convinced our pesantry that if we only “united” we would not need Russians. Alarmingly, all the lobbying in Moscow is being done by Turks and Azeris.
      We all know that Russia’s economy is hurting today because of the Anglo-American-Jewish assault against it. What we are failing to notice however is that Russia is systematically re-configuring its economic infrastructure to be more self-reliant. Russia nevertheless may be the only independent nation on earth today. In any case, once the storm passes and Russians continue developing their internal economy (and tap into the potential of the Far East), Russia, with its 100 million plus population (a population that is very familiar with Armenian products) will be an ideal market for all Armenian products. Europeans don’t want or need our cognac or apricots or Rabiz music. Trust me.
      Politically, economically, militarily and CULTURALLY Armenia’s only salvation lies in deeper, closer and more efficient relations with Russia.

    • To concerned: People like you, who are sick of anti-jewish, anti-western nonsense are not capable to archive anything valuable. Here is what Putin says on antisemitism: https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-40136245
      And this is Karekin Nejteh words for low-class people like you: “Our problem are not the Turks, but Turk like Armenians”. You may continue insulting, but you like it or not, “New Armenia” and Pashinian are there and “New Armenia” will succeed. You better go and live in North Korea. That is the best place for you.

    • Fr Shetlian… you definitely don’t speak like a Fr. Don’t forget that the Jewish-Israeli state is constantly trying to destroy Armenia. Jewish Israelis regard the Armenians as their natural historic enemy. And will always try and destroy Armenia. They provide Azerbaijan with not just military weapons but training on how to destroy Armenian positions. It’s a dangerous game.

    • To Aren: Yes…I am a Zionist, recruited by Mossad… And Armenia is opening an Embassy in Israel first time ever…Pashinian also a Zionist…LOL…

    • Fr Shetlian, I guess since you are no longer trying to defend your position on your statements and are resorting to sarcastic comments that we never made, we can agree to move on. Thanks for the article and ability to listen.

    • Concerned: You, again as one-sided blind Russian imperialist take any positive thing said about Russia to extreme and make it as another Russian instrument to control Armenia. That is very primitive. That is over with Sargsyan. With Pashinian time is now for healthily balanced policies. Armenia will have relations with any side thinks that is good for its well being. Yes, Russia is a good market for Armenian goods, but Russia’s economic model is far from being modern and effective. Russia cannot help Armenia to improve its economy. Here Europeans are good and most importantly they are willing to help. 700 million Euros given from the EU is a strong sign that Europe is seriously interested in Armenia. Here I will definitely prefer Europe to Russia. Surely, as a Russian imperialist, you hate Armenia working with any side other than Russia. You want Russia to suppress Armenia, as it is already done. That is over. Now “New Armenia’ decides with whom and to what extent have relations and deals based on its own national interests. Russia can dictate nothing anymore.

    • Pray a little harder Bedros, it might help you finally understand that Western money comes with major strings that Armenia cannot afford – strings namely in the form of Social Engineering (homosexuality, open borders, multiculturalism, interracialism, etc). One more time: Westerners do not want our cognac, apricots or rabiz music. Westerners simply want to drive Russians and Iranians out of the south Caucasus. One more time: Only the delirious think Nikol is politically “independent”. What makes Nikol more dangerous than the old guard is his openly Globalist/Liberal policies.

    • Absolutely strings come attached with partnership with US/EU. As you indicated, there is a cultural and social engineering change that comes with it. The homosexuality movement is a control mechanism that comes from the West. I was watching an Anthony Bourdain episode. I forgot what African country he was in. But he met with business women who were attempting to run a clothing company from within the country. Made by the home country itself and sold within. They said US came in with business plans sold to the state which included selling unused surplus clothing from the US through their country for pennies on the dollar. In massive bulk amounts. And that clothing is sold cheaply where they as clothing makers couldn’t compete with those prices. So they went to their government representatives as a collective of clothing makers. Indicated to the government of giving them power to run their businesses and employ people locally in the thousands for new jobs generated. But they would need those bulked shipments from the US to stop. The officials told the US to stop those bulk shipments and the US said they would impose massive sanctions on their country if they attempted to do so. That’s how business with the US and EU works.

    • Concerned and Aren: Wow, wow, wow… our Russian imperialist so-called Armenians Aren and concerned panicking on Armenia having good relations with Europe. They are scaring us with homosexuals and other things. What an inferiority complex…Only, only, only Russia, even if Russia is not capable to help us in that matter. What a shame.

    • Fr Shetlian… With all due respect. I live in the US and was born in the US. I have seen what the culture has become for the last nearly 40 years. And how they exported the divisive elements of their culture to others in Europe. Homosexuality, break up of family frameworks, social and cultural incompetence, and hatred. America exports these elements, same ones they have in place within the US, in order to divide people and ensure it is easier to conquer them by dividing them. Today we see it in America. Black vs Whites. Immigrants vs Americans. Gays vs Straights. And the news and media and television and radio, filled with mis-information and propaganda. Nothing coming from it to actually educate people and ensure they are enlightened by domestic and international politics. Nothing provided from their education system to actually develop their children into competent and knowledgeable individuals. Robots. They only want robots. To do skills and trade type work and make money and be quiet. Europe has been destroyed with this Western social experiment. And America continues to export it. Now targeting Armenia with anti-Gay and LGBTQ rights type propaganda which I have seen more readily lately. We Armenians are a smart and intellectual people. We have been invested into by proper education and social norms. And yes, Russia may not be the perfect partner. I agree. They are not economically as capable yet compared to the EU and US. They are starting to become more internally dependent economically and through their local trusted partners as the sanctions start weighing on them. But when partnering with the US and EU, don’t forget that it’s never just an economic union. Expect the American and Western ideals and norms to cripple the country. And one thing we forget. I forget as well. Is that I don’t live in Armenia. Doesn’t seem like you do either. Not sure if my Comrade Concerned does. But the people of Armenia have the biggest voice in this. They live there. They get to really choose their arrangement and their leadership. We can comment from outside, but we really have no right to tell them how to live and to whom to do business and partnership with. I guarantee you that if you went and took a pole of over 5000 Armenians there, the overwhelming majority would still see their future with Russia politically and socially and culturally and economically. And until the US partnership with Azerbaijan and Turkey doesn’t change, I don’t see why they would want to change that relationship. US wants Baku oil and to destroy Iran’s and Russia’s avenue through Armenia more than they want to see Armenia succeed. They have zero reason and need for a successful Armenia. Again, maybe that arrangement changes in 10 years. We’ll see. But for now, doesn’t seem to be.

    • Aren jan,

      You are throwing pears in front of swine. These people are either cyber warriors for Uncle Sam (there are hundreds if not thousands of Armenians working for various Western organizations trying to influence public opinion) or spiritually dead characters (American suburban types) who cannot see past their egos or their bank accounts. I engaged in a debate with them not for their sake per se, as they are a lost cause, but for the sake of those who are silently watching/observing the conversation. I feel a duty to fight evil and enlighten people. Allow me to add that you and I are on the same level. I encourage you to remain active on these boards.

      PS: I split my time between Armenia and the Empire. Had Armenians been a normal people, a people who keenly understood nation-building and politics, I would have permanently moved to the homeland a very long time ago. Sadly, Armenians are proving to be self-destructive, easily manipulated and politically illiterate. Sadly, I have no choice but to maintain my Roman citizenship.

    • Concerned my friend… You’re correct. I think this is, UNFORTUNATELY, where the Turks seem to excel. They do have great statesmanship and nation building. Their politics and diplomacy skills are sharper than ours. Armenia has a bad history with nation building and statesmanship. Some of it has to do with our position which is in a hot bed and surrounded by world powers. Not an easy place to be. But hopefully they can get their heads together and make something work. I can only at this point try to be positive. Hoping Nikol can do what is right for the country and not do what others are telling him to do in his ear. But I’m always in a “Wait and See” type approach with this. I know everyone gets excited. It’s new leadership. And he came in as a revolutionary type inspired individual. Giving energy to the country. I feel like Kocharyan was the same. We saw people so happy Levon was out and Kocharyan came in. But after a couple of years people realized it wasn’t too much different. Same with Obama here in the states. He spoke well. Got people excited. “YES WE CAN” speeches. And didn’t do anything with it. Politicians talk a lot. We need to see what their actions are. Who and what Nikol represents will be clear in about a year from now. I wish you and all Armenians well!

  29. Armenoid
    and for that I already presented a smart solution if one day Russia leaves Armenia and for some reason they decide to sell us to these genocidal turks you want our countries soldiers on the border strengthen the army and write a letter to pashinian and tell him please get out of NPT treaty and make that bomb so you can slepp good at nights when there are only Armenian solders on the border

    • Sero, I agree with the general spirit of your suggestion. But, what if our genocidal neighbors also decide to go that route? With their connections and resources, they have a better chance at acquiring nuclear weapons. I don’t think the nuclear option is a wise option for us…

    • Agreed Concerned Armenian. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Turkey already has them without anyone knowing about it. I don’t even see Nuclear arms solving anything for Armenia. The road to solution is not more war rhetoric and saber rattling. it’s about trying to put Armenia in a better economic and strategic position. Growing it’s economic energy from within and utilizing neighbors that are willing to work with Armenia without too many strings attached, as you indicated.

  30. Sero, I agree with my comrades who say the nuclear options is too dangerous for Armenia. The best thing we can do is turn Armenia into a highly militarized mountain fortress and develop its economy. My only concern is that, unlike people like Russians and Turks, Armenians are not a warlike people enough to get it done.

    PS: There have been persistent rumors that Armenia inherited “suitcase” atomic bomb/s from the Soviet Union.

  31. Armenoid,

    Those soldiers that I saw in Gyumri were certainly not Armenian soldiers (they have much higher morals); they were most certainly Russian soldiers. And yes, when it comes to war, it certainly makes perfect sense that somebody like you would rather have a drunk, stoned Russian “soldier” to protect you.

    In terms of guns, I handle them even better than tennis rackets, ping pong paddles, or even cell phones.

    “Russia’s military has no competition in this world.” Yeah, that’s why, back in the 80’s, they got the crap beaten out of them in Afghanistan.

    As for the Russian culture (which totally lacks originality, and is less than one thousand years old), it wishes that it could have the kind of colorful, rich culture that the Armenians have had for over five thousand years. But then again, for an extremely uneducated person like you, the Armenian culture is nothing more than “pathetic.”

    Concerned “Armenian”,

    It’s amazing how you, who vehemently pretends to be Armenian, is always looking down upon the Armenians and is always defending the Kremlin. And, if Turkey were to actually invite Russia to establish a military base on its soil, then the Russians would definitely have no problem with the Turks marching over into Armenia and robbing, beating, and slaughtering the Armenians.

    • Yerevanian,

      I agree with you that Armenians are fighters. We’ve had over a couple of thousand years of warfare experience. And we won the Artsakh war over Azerbaijan by simply being better fighters than them. They had technology and in fact the help of Russians and some CheChen mercenaries and they still lost.

      The lure of Russia being a military ally is not just for the few Russian soldiers in Gyumri drunk on the base. It’s the fact that Russia comes with the CSTO alliance that Armenia is a part of and in case there is an attack from Turkey, Russia can balance out that fight. Armenia can probably handle Azerbaijan, but Turkey would be too much to take on both in military size and technology.

      Russia’s military is overrated in the same way the US military is overrated. US spent over 10 years in Vietnam and let some villagers in flip flops and AKs defeat them. You can be a powerful military but doesn’t mean you will win every battle/war all the time. There are no guarantees in War as we have seen in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

      Your comment to Concerned is a hypothetical. It’s a “what if this happens” scenario. Sure, that can happen. Especially now with Erdogan being less friendly with the US. But as long as Turkey is part of NATO and US has Baku oil interests in its palm, Russia won’t be able to put a military base in Turkey. And US would never allow it. The moment Russia tries to put a military base in Turkey or grows too close to Erdogan, I guarantee a massive internal coup (CIA led of course as usual) and if not that an invasion of Turkey. US is not going to give up Turkey easily. No way. Erdogan is on a thin line right now.

    • Aren, I know we desperately want to believe that we are fighters but the sad fact is that we are not. We as a nation and by nature are chobans and merchants, not fighters. Had we been fighters we would not be where we are today. We beat the Azeris 25 years ago because they had absolutely no war fighting experience when the war broke out. Azeris, because they were Muslim, were not allowed to be in combat unit during the Afghan war. In contrast, Armenians had many combat veterans of the Afghan war leading the struggle against Baku. Their lack of combat experience is why they relied on mercenaries from Ukraine and Afghanistan. Mercenaries never make good soldiers. What’s more, “Russians” did not assist Azeris against us. The Soviet Politburo helped Baku’s war effort against us because they did not want to see the disintegration of the Soviet Union. After the Soviet collapse in late 1991 (until which time we were not doing well in the war), the Russian Federation began helping us by supplying us with large amounts of lethal weaponry (tanks, anti-tank rockets, antiaircraft missiles, etc). In a nutshell: We won the war because we had Afghan war veterans leading the fight and because the Soviet Union collapsed and Moscow no longer had any reason to support Baku.

    • Armenoid… At least the chobans were able to defeat Azeris and some paid mercenaries. Haha. I’ll take that one. I’m not saying we have some amazing fighting prowess that other countries don’t have. But we have been a nation at war for thousands of years. Be it against Greeks, Romans, Russian, Persians, Turks, Mongols, Arabs during the Crusades, Seljuks, Afghans, and whoever else that used our path to get to the East or the West, we have centuries of war experience.

  32. Armenoid
    No I don’t think so only three ssr countries had atom bomb in their soil which after their independence were removed and Armenia was not one of them and it would not be easy to hide such a thing but anyway since you guys think my strategy is not a solution I close this discution

  33. The drunken Russian soldiers you saw in Gyumri are draftees, if there is a conflagration, special Russian forces will descend on Gyumri. The draftees will disappear overnight, the draftees are not fighting men, they are there doing their military stint. Pashinian is the worst thing that could have happened to the country. In two more years the populace will be disappointed at his performance and discontent will spread. Politicians are harlots in collar and tie. One needs statesmen at the helm of a nation. Sadly we are deliriously scarce of them. Armenia can not survive as a nation without the Russian protective umbrella. Tying up pseudo alliances or treaties with the EU it is a time bomb waiting to go off. As for opening up an embassy in Israel it is an unnecessary step. We have the 2nd largest judeo American embassy in the region ( a network of intelligence gathering and a den of spies and ngo’s) there is no need for a mossad espionage base ( there is one on Tiflis, and in Baku) in Yerevan. I am not visiting Yerevan again, although I would very much like to. Pashinian and his regime have turned the city center into an insalubrious zone. It is not inspiring to visit you homeland, and find , accidentally, being stalked by perverted homosexuals in republic square. The regime should ensure to make these repulsive perverts scarce from the city center.

    • It is a tight decision. People like you better not to visit our Motherland which is in the state of cleansing and improving.

  34. I am surprised that the whole point of my article was for Armenia to have balanced relations with its allies, neighbors and other countries. There was not a word to cut relations with Russia or to change the strategic militarily ties with Russia. But apparently, there are some so-called Armenians with the inferiority complex who panic of any possible Armenian multilateral and balanced relations. It is funny and primitive, they are trying to say, that if Armenia is improving its relation for instance with Iran or with Europe, that means Armenia is cutting its relations with Russia. What the heck… This is funny and only a naive child can believe in such nonsense. But here is the funniest paradox of their statements. RUSSIA ON ITS TOP LEVEL, TO BE MORE CORRECT THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT IS PUTIN AND HIS TEAM, ARE WORKING SUCCESSFULLY WITH “NEW ARMENIA”. THE SELLING OF SU-30 AIRCRAFTS IS A PROVE AND ARMENIA’S PARTICIPATION IN A HUMANITARIAN EFFORT IN SYRIA ON THE RUSSIAN SIDE IS AN ANOTHER PROVE. BOT FACTS ARE SO IMPORTANT, TO SHOW INDEED THAT THE RELATIONS BETWEEN ARMENIA AND RUSSIA ARE IN A GOOD SHAPE. WHAT CHANGED IS THAT “NEW ARMENIA” DOING THINGS ONLY GOOD FOR ITS OWN INTERESTS, AND NO ONE CAN DICTATE WHAT TO DO. So, whatever baloney these people say, doesn’t matter because it is irrelevant and against the facts.

    • Baron Shetlian… First off, there is a lot of sensitivity with readers today because of the anti-Russian media (American/Jewish based) that is being planted throughout news articles for the past few years. When you start off an article by indicating “the previous government who had always been bound—to a degree of humiliation—to Russia and could not overcome its objection to such a meeting” and proceed from there to degrade the Armenian Russian relations due to Gazprom and the railroad incidence as factors of negative Russian influence, then your article goes from being deemed a balanced and unbiased article to one of which is biased and one that is propagandizing a certain point of view. It’s no mistake multiple commentators here noticed the unbalanced point of view of the article. Further, no one was buying this as being “New” relations with Iran. We know Armenia and and Iran in the post-Soviet age have shared a positive relationship for years through previous leaderships. Nikol is just trying to build on that. And as a representative of God, you should have a better way of speaking to people instead of calling them “primitive” ones with an “inferiority complex.” You’re better than that and represent human kind. We expect more from your comments.

    • Aren: Double standard. You should be saying these things to Concerned, Gurgen, Armenoid and others who started insulting me. They even don’t care that I am a priest. I had 2 choices; either not to respond to their comments or if to respond in this way. This is the only way. Jesus acted the same way with Pharisees. So, don’t teach me ethics. I know what I am doing. I AM SAYING THE TRUTH. This approach that only, only, only Russia, this crazy idea that we Armenians can do nothing other than to be Russia’s subordinate, that we are not capable to make our own decisions, that somebody should control us, all these are the results of inferiority complex. What a shame. Thank God that people like you are in a minority. So far “New Armenia” doing well and Russia is showing far more respect than to the previous regime. As a result of “New Armenia”, Azerbaijan is in deep trouble. What I said about Iran visit is all based on facts. And again, I already sent to you twice the proof links. I won’t go over that again. Until the Velvet Revolution, Russia was using the weakness of the old regime to control us. Now you like it or not (probably you don’t) THAT IS OVER. Bravo, Pashinian for having balanced independent international policy. Duxov! Armenia will be opening an embassy in Israel. Now, what you will say? That Pashinian is a Mossad agent? You intentionally ignoring the facts and repeating the same thing again and again. Each time you write something my suspicion of you being on Kocharian/Sargsyan payroll is deepened. If you want to prove that I am wrong come forward with your real identity. Otherwise, for me, you are someone who is doing a dirty job and doing it with the money stolen from our people.

    • Nah. I don’t need to send my real identity. Reality is I don’t trust people online of who they are and who they REALLY may be. I am on my own payroll. Aren’s! Haha. I honestly, and you may not believe it, don’t care about anyone else (US or Russia) except for Armenia. US and Russia have their own agendas. And this game has been played for all eternity of mankind. Sometimes Russia has supported Armenia and sometimes they haven’t. Same with the West. Same with the Persians. Same with the Romans. Same with the Germans. I can’t say much about the British, because I don’t think they’ve ever supported us. At least not recent history. The key for Armenia is to utilize the power of a world power at the time to support their interests. I’m simply stating right now it’s time for Armenia to be in partnership with Russia. What happens with that partnership in 10 years based on changes with US/EU relations to Baku and Turkey, who knows. And I really don’t care about the embassy in Israel. The balance with Israel is an interesting one. Israeli Jews definitely see Armenians has their historic competitors. There is only one race as smart as the Israeli Jews, it’s the Armenians. We just haven’t been as organized as they have unfortunately. Israel is in an interesting position. It definitely has oil and gas interests and uses US to run a lot of its agenda. It is one of the largest lobbying forces in the US. But it’s relationship with Turkey is on the rocks. Especially now. That’s where Armenia can come in to take some advantage in case that relationship wears down even more through the Erdogan era. Turkey and Israel are only strategic friends. Technically, they can’t even stand each other. By facts that you provided, they’re really just information provided by certain sources. I and anyone else can provide source information to the contrary. Information today is becoming a massive joke. And many of the readers, essentially the smarter ones who can sniff out propaganda based articles, are looking for truthful information that doesn’t carry a biased voice. They felt your article did. I felt it did. And we called it out for that. If you don’t agree with it, that’s fine. We are all men and can disagree with one another and move on. If Armenians all agreed on something ALL THE TIME, we’d probably have an empire! haha. We don’t, which is why we have a small enclave of land in between giants.

    • Aren: O man…you are well trained as I can see. You are a good manipulator and you can turn everything upside down…Your methods may work with ignorant people, but with people who are well informed and get the info from different and opposite sides and have an ability to observe and to analyze things and see deep what is going on, for such people you are just a loser. Maybe you work for CIA…Lol…But certainly well trained… The main thing that you don’t have is honesty…Yes, after this…I certainly can see that you work for the old guard…may God forgive you…

    • Fr Shetlian… Haha at this point I have no idea what you are mumbling about. Just keep doing what you’re doing. The readers already figured it out. I don’t need you to have God forgive me. I have a closer relationship with God than you do based on what I’ve read from you and the way you speak to people. Have a good one priest.

    • Baron Shetlian… At this point I have no idea what you are mumbling about. I gave you my viewpoint and explained why readers pointed out the anti-Russian bias in your article. If you don’t like what I or other readers who saw the same said, so be it. Go off on your marry way and I’m going on my own. Trying to be very curteous to you and not call you names or disgrace you. I have a much better relationship with God than you think so I don’t need your empty back handed slap style blesses. Better luck in your next article. Thank you

  35. “We beat the Azeris 25 years ago because they had absolutely no war fighting experience when the war broke out.”

    What do you mean by “we”? It was the Armenians who beat the Azeris, as opposed to your Russians who got their asses spanked over in Afghanistan. As for those particular Armenians who led the struggle against Baku, they certainly weren’t “combat veterans of the Afghan War.” Vazgen Sargsyan never participated in your Afghan War; neither did Monte Melkonian. As a matter of fact, Serzh Sargsyan (who you are very fond of) also never participated in your Afghan War.

    In terms of those particular battles that the Armenians lost in the Artsakh War, they occurred in the summer of 1992, as a result of Russian soldiers fighting on the side of the Azeris. As for the Azeris, they had just as much war fighting experience as the Armenians did; they also had enormously more military weapons (thanks to your Russians) than the Armenians did (Serzh Sargsyan had even stated in the Thomas De Waal interview that “Azerbaijan received much more Russian weaponry than the Armenians did”).

    In terms of being chobans, don’t sit here and accuse the Armenians of being what your people are, and have been for the past one thousand years. The reason why Armenians still have a homeland today, is because they are fighters. If it had not been for Garegin Nzhdeh, Vazgen Sargsyan and Monte Melkonian, there would be no Armenian homeland today.

    • Yervanian… Even today in Iran the Armenians are well respected. Armenians have enjoyed a very prestigious position in Iranian society. There is obviously the whole religious thing and that splits us apart from them on a certain level, but let’s not forget that Armenians and Persians have a shared history of being neighbors for over 3000 years! Shared cultures and music and food and we were both Zoroastrian based societies before the onset of Christianity and Islam split us apart and caused some warfare. But the Armenians and Persians today know they have a strong shared history and definitely helps from a trust aspect between the two.

    • Aren Jackson,

      I agree with most of what you wrote; however, the war that took place between the Armenians and Persians (back in 451 AD) had nothing to do with Islam. The Persians, had attempted to convert the Armenians to Zoroastrianism, but the Armenians rejected this and wanted to remain a Christian nation. Therefore, a war erupted between the two sides, and the Persians ended up winning. However, the Persians changed their minds and instead granted religious freedom to the Armenians.

    • Yerevanian… Yes, I think you captured it correctly. it was a war of Zoroastrianism vs onset of Christianity. I think as always religious war is not about really religion. It’s a political and strategic component that gets buried underneath the banner waving of religion in order to justify reasons for war. With the onset of Christianity, what a lot of Armenians don’t realize, it was more so a political move than a religious one. I know we want to all believe Trdat was fully influenced by Grigor to provide Christianity to Armenia on a purely religious basis. But reality was Trdat wanted to push Christianity in order to separate his country/nation from Persian control which was controlled through Zoroastrian religious leaders. That’s likely why we see the onset of war between the Persians and Armenians as you indicated. Thanks for the clarification though!

    • Trdat had nothing to do with what took place between the Armenians and Persians in 451 AD. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t even around at that time. He was born around 940 AD, and became an architect who designed cathedrals as well as other buildings.

      Furthermore, what took place in 451 AD, had nothing to do with the Armenians attempting to separate from the Persian Empire. It had to do entirely with religion. The Persians were attempting to convert the Armenian Christians to Zoroastrianism, and it was rejected. That’s the reason for the one day battle (Battle of Avarayr), which took place on May 26th, 451 AD, between the Armenian and Persian armies. The Armenian army, numbered around 66 thousand, as opposed to the much larger Persian army, which numbered around 260-360 thousand (which also included 60 thousand Armenian Zoroastrians).

    • Trdat gave the green light to move Armenia toward a state of Christianity. It was he who received Grigor and gave him power to do so after Grigor’s 13 year banishment and cure of Trdat’s illness. Religious experts say Trdat was cured of his illness (lycanthropy) and decided to grant Christianity to the kingdom of Armenia. Historians say this was really a politically strategic move to distance Armenia away from Persian influence which was controlled through Zoroastrian religious power and influence. As you mentioned, the war came later in 451 AD as the Persians wanted to insert Zoroastrianism back into Armenia. But was this really on religious motives or political? Historical mainly agree there was an underlying political motive. As is the case with nearly every single war that is determined to be a “religious war.” It’s never really about religion. It’s about power.

    • It was King Tiridates III, who established Christianity as Armenia’s official state religion in 301 AD; and upon doing so, he proceeded to make Gregory (Gregory the Illuminator) the first Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

      Due to the fact that Christianity was already established in the Byzantine Empire (around 451 AD), might therefore suggest that it had been a political move by the Persian Empire to convert Christian Armenia to Zoroastrianism.

    • I think so. I think it was a way of the Persians trying to exert their influence back through Armenia. You’re correct. Constantinople started becoming the center of the Christian world. Started exerting more influence through places like Armenia. Just like today, Armenia stuck in the middle of major powers, was being pulled between the Byzantines and Persians. Persians tried to forcefully take it back over and exert the Zoroastrian religion back. Religion is constantly used as a control mechanism. No different than today. And Armenia today is still pulled by large playmakers (Russia, EU, US, China, etc). History keeps repeating itself! haha

    • Going back to the Battle of Avarayr, on one hand, one can certainly argue that it revolved around religion and nothing else; on the other hand, one can certainly also argue that the Persian Empire was attempting to make a political move, directed at the Byzantine Empire (which controlled Western Armenia). However, in the end, although the Persian army defeated the Armenian army, the Persian Empire did not gain anything from it. It would later change its mind, and grant religious freedom to the Eastern Armenians. Therefore, it was the Eastern Armenians who turned out victorious.

    • Yervanian… See that’s a perfect example. The Battle of Avarayr was said to be a battle of Armenia’s right to be Christian. That’s what the battle was advertised as and even when I was a child and that battle was spoke about with Vardan Mamikonian’s heroism against the “pagan” (loosely used) Persians, that it was a battle of Armenia’s right to remain Christian. Armenians lost the heroic battle but the Persians still granted religious freedom! That tells me it was not about religion. It was about strategic control over Armenia. Keeping it away from the Romans/Byzantines and ensuring Armenia, which was an important trade cross road, remained firmly in Persian hands. As I always believe, religious battles don’t really exist. The real underlying factor such as in this case is strategic, political, and financial.

    • Jackson,

      The Battle of Avarayr, could not have been about “strategic control,” because the Persian Empire already had full control over Eastern Armenia prior to the Battle of Avarayr.

  36. Any discussion of Iran’s foreign policy should mention the US’s overthrow of Iran’s prime minister in 1953 and installation of the autocratic shah, who turned the country into an East Germany-style torture state.

    • You forgot to mention the US overthrow of the autocratic shah as well in 1979. Key words the shah said that didn’t ring well with the US. “i’m going to nationalize my oil.” Same key words used by Chavez in Venezuela??? Hmmm connection perhaps.

    • Actually, according to so many Armenians from Iran, under the rule of the Shah, Iran was like a paradise. Furthermore, they have also said that the Shah, and his wife (Queen Farah), actually loved Armenians more than their own peoples. This certainly doesn’t sound like the description of being an “East Germany-style torture state.”

  37. Hello Armenians,
    For the record, Concerned Armenian and Aren Jacksonian is an individual with multiple identity. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME engaging in serious conversation with this person. Just cautioning you. Besides, he’s NOT Armenian.

    • Ah, and the trolls have arrived to discredit us! Haha. Sure, I’m not Armenian. Whatever you want to say and you think can help discredit all the information Concerned and I provided. BRING ON THE TROLLS! Haha

    • Yes Jay. You got it all right old sport. Haha. We aren’t Armenians
      Wow. You know. That’s your way of discrediting us? Try to argue back instead of coming up with lame excuses.

  38. The varyin elements in this interesting exchange-repartee- of views, ideas,concepts has ran its full course. The bottom line is that it seems there are two factions vying for the soul of the nation. The realists, facts on the ground and historical lessons learnt, and the idealists or day dreamers with high fall using slogans and memes like “new Armenia” “ independent decision making”, “opening to the world” earning respect fro eu and other political blocks, etc, etc, . The nation is transiting a period of uncertain crucibles.. Unfortunately the diaspora, a key element in the unity and bonding with the national homeland, belong to the the non Armenian world, the so called degenerate jewified west , masquerading under the triad genesis of democracy, globalism and internationalism. The ultimate goal of this triad is the destruction of nation states, destruction of nation histories, abstract humanism, weakening of identities, religion, population movements , invasions of territorial living space leading to intermingling and deracination. The diaspora needs to disrobe itself from these idiosincrasies and indoctrination mound and develop a unique thinking of armenianness. Unity is not achieved by having fissiparous entities thinking and acting differently and at opposite ends of the national interests. , but by thinking and acting as a group, understanding and internalizing what is good for The nation and it’s nationa interests., we should always be asking, what is good for the national homeland . This is a historical transit phase where ou destiny will be forged. Armenia’s challenges are complex and unique. Past history has left the nation with important lessons. Know your friends and know your enemies even better. We are a spec of Christianity inside a Muslim sea. Surviving in a hostile environment like this it is a matter of life and death. We have enemies, we better get used to them, and know our friends ( based on mutual interests) who can contribute to our nationa preservation .

  39. Concerned Armenian,
    Your never ending rant about ‘ Armenians are politically illiterate ‘ is beginning to sound like an old record. Unrelated, but take a look at Trump; morally corrupt, lying, cheating, politically illiterate, casino developer, is the 45th president of the United States. So, what is the point of being ‘politically literate’ ? You seem to be politically literate Armenian individual (?), then why not run for public office? All the politically literate Armenians can sit down and negotiate with global and regional powers but the fact is that it will not change the situation in the region. The world map has been redrawn since two World Wars, and it will stay the same till the next one.

  40. Aren
    Armenia does not have bad history for nation building look at Tigray the great and see how big Armenia was at that time and I hope one more time would happen

    • Sero… I wish I could believe that. But we’ve had over 3000 years of history and our highlight is the single Tigran the Great dynasty. I mean i give us credit that we are still here. With a territory that is Armenian sovereign. You look at Assyrians and Kurds and they are a landless people. So at least we have a leg up there. But I think can do better and the plan hopefully forward is for all of us to come together and push this land we have forward into prospertiy and a nation we can be proud of for our kids and future generations. You can see here so many differing opinions on what people think of Armenia and it’s leadership. People have differing ideas of direction. But hopefully we gather all our energy and minds and funds to push Armenia in the correct path. We can all do something on our own to support Armenia. May God Bless Armenia and Armenian people far and wide.

  41. Mr. Shetilian,
    Your unwavering support of Pashinyan is obvious and well observed. I suppose, your impression of him as a ‘democratic leader’ is what encouraged you to join Tuxov revolution. However, question remains, how on earth the second president of Armenia, Mr. Robert Kocharyan, remains in jail by the order of Armenia’s, National Security Service, without a ‘fair’ trial? Do you consider this action to be fair and Democratic? On February 28th of 2008, your top man, Pashinyan, with a bullhorn jammed in his mouth encouraged and urged the protesters,on Freedom Square, to confront the law enforcement officers with whatever weapons they can show up with. As a result of that enticement and with a very obvious reasons, the pro-LTP ‘ Peaceful Protesters’ showed up the square confronting the officers with batons, pistols, automatic weapons, Molotov Cocktails, and brass knuckles. The following day Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, resembled the streets of Beirut 1974-1990 civil war. Videos showing the aftermath of riots, shows cars, busses, and military jeeps overturned and burning, also, you could see ‘ the peaceful protesters’ looting stores in the middle of the night while police officers standing by and looking on. As the president of that country, Mr. Kocharyan, having no other choice, declared state of emergency to quell the situation, he was simply exercising the constitution of the Republic of Armenia. Following the riots, your top man Pashinyan, went into hiding for two years then resurfaced and surrendered to the authorities. After a FAIR trial he was sentenced to seven years in prison in which he only served two. The two main instigators and the brain child ,of the March 1 riots, LTP and Pashinyan, remain unpunished . I believe, as a concerned Armenian, the latter two should stand fora trial and be investigated for their roles in intentionally disturbing peace, caused by their irresponsible and provocative actions. It is the responsibility of every ‘Non Tuxov’ Armenians to stand up and demand a trial of ,LTP and Pashinyan,also, demanding the release and the fair trial of ,Mr. Kocharyan.

  42. In the contemporary world there is no democracy . The democracy in practice today is a corruption of the real democracy which the Greeks endowed the realm of politics and government. Don’t delude yourselves, those in the west, that you are living in democracies., they live in countries with a pornocracy system of dominance by a clique of high finance, banking cartels, , international interests groups, ruling over serfs by means of entertaining the masses with election circuses every 4 years. Real, genuine democracy only existed in The times of Pericles and the Ancient Greek world.

    • Terryan… Very true. It’s a fake democracy out West. Funny thing is America preaches Democracy and then they support some of the worst autocratic bloody government’s in the world. Saudi Arabia and Turkey and CENTRAL American oppressive regimes are their friends. Democracy and then idea of it is overrated. But, the key is using elements of it as well as elements of other systems to create a livable society that is open and transparent.

  43. Aren,
    Here’s my argument. I’ve come across rather funny sounding Armenian surnames in the past, such as, VegeterIAN, PresbyterIAN, ParisIAN VenetIAN CalifornIAN,FloridIAN or ItalIAN, but nothing weird sounding last name such as yours; JacksonIAN? Lol…do yourself a favor and change your first name from Aren to Erin or Aaron and trim your last name to Jackson, and voila got yourself a new identity, Erin/Aaaron Jackson. Now that’s more like it. Haha

    • That’s not bad. How about Jackson Jacksonian??? Very strong. Or short could be JJ. Haha. Have a great weekend Jay

    • Jay… You gave me an idea! Jackson Jacksonian! Haha
      Have a great weekend ol sport ..

  44. In Armenia There’s an alternative terminology for the word Democracy it’s called Vendetta, and it’s been enforced by, Pashinyan and LTP duo. Also, evidently the cat got Mr. Shetilian’s tongue, his hesitancy of responding to my comment directed to him is very obvious yet expected.

  45. This is to the mean people who sell their dignity to the old corrupted regime:
    “Our problem are not the Turks, our problem are Turk like Armenians”, Karekin Nejteh.
    Now the Republican Party is running out of money, let see what happens when they stop paying you.
    Also, I have a gift for you. My article on velvet revolution’s first anniversary is published in “Haykakan Jamanak”, Pashinian’s newspaper. Enjoy:
    https://armtimes.com/hy/article/159349?fbclid=IwAR1oYmgtRISkJU5Icr0isfe8P8kXq8BUPBtw6-Eqj7t5j-gbVlmVWhoysWk

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