Pashinyan boasts about Armenia’s fake democracy at European Parliament

Regardless of whether I like Armenia’s Prime Minister or not, I want to be fair to him. I praise him when he does something right and criticize him when he does something wrong.

For example, I wrote an article in April 2019 praising PM Nikol Pashinyan for his speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France. I wrote: “Pashinyan gave an impressive speech to the representatives of 47 European countries. Even more impressive were the Prime Minister’s answers to their dozen questions. While his speech was prepared in advance, the questions were impromptu, and the answers had to be delivered on the spot.”

Pashinyan posted my article on his Facebook page, which has over one million followers. Here is the comment he added: “I am happy that one of the most prestigious Diaspora newspapers, The California Courier, has appreciated my speech at PACE.” My article received 4,000 likes, 197 shares and 185 comments.

I will now comment on Pashinyan’s speech at the European Parliament on October 17, 2023, in Strasbourg, France.

In his speech, Pashinyan used the word “democracy” or “democratic” 21 times to describe Armenia’s current government. He emphasized that democracy provides “security, peace, unity, well-being and happiness.” Regrettably, Armenia does not enjoy any of these attributes, since Artsakh was lost and Azeri troops have been stationed inside Armenia’s borders since 2021. Armenia’s problems are mostly due to the incompetence of its leader. Pashinyan came to power under the guise of promoting democratic values but ended up violating the basic principles of democracy. What we have in Armenia now is one-man rule. Pashinyan listens to no one, whether they are ministers, advisors, his party members, the parliamentary majority or the president. He makes all decisions by himself. He claimed in his speech that Armenia “would have simply been paralyzed, would have lost its independence and sovereignty if it were not democratic.”

Pashinyan falsely said that his government “did not violate any principle of democracy.” The fact is that Pashinyan has turned Armenia into a police state. When he first came to power, he used to go to the Prime Minister’s office on a bicycle. Now, he hides behind hundreds of policemen before he puts one foot out the door. The policemen, who receive big salaries and bonus payments, beat up and arrest demonstrators. Pashinyan’s political opponents face trumped up charges in court. He has threatened to squash his critics on the asphalt and slam them to the wall. Unbelievably, while campaigning for the parliamentary elections in June 2021, he waved a hammer in the air, threatening to smash the heads of his domestic opponents. Is that democracy?

Even Diaspora Armenians are not immune to the long arm of Pashinyan’s dictatorial regime. Anyone who criticizes him from outside Armenia is banned from entering the country after arriving at the Yerevan airport. What happened to the democratic principle of freedom of expression?

Pashinyan described Azerbaijan’s May 12, 2021 attack on Armenia as a “provocation that took place before the parliamentary elections…to fail the upcoming parliamentary elections and paralyze the statehood of Armenia, or at least its government.” The fact is that Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenia was unrelated to the parliamentary elections. Such attacks have taken place before and after the elections. Furthermore, President Aliyev has no reason to topple Pashinyan, since he is making endless concessions to Azerbaijan on Artsakh and Armenia.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Oct. 17, 2023 (Website of the Prime Minister of Armenia)

Pashinyan bragged in his speech that Armenia was able to settle the 100,000 refugees from Artsakh. He claimed that thanks to democracy in Armenia, “We did it honorably.” The fact is that despite the persistent indications for years that Azerbaijan intended to occupy the remainder of Artsakh and force out its inhabitants, the Armenian government made no preparations to settle the refugees in Armenia. Many of them spent days in their cars, deprived of food, water and shelter. As a result, several thousand Artsakhtsis have already left Armenia.

In his speech, Pashinyan explained his readiness to allow Azeri cargo, vehicles, people, pipelines and electricity lines to traverse Armenia’s territory from Azerbaijan proper to its exclave of Nakhichevan. Even though such access is supposed to be reciprocal, as mentioned in the Nov. 9, 2020 agreement, Azerbaijan has never indicated its willingness to allow similar transit for Armenians through Azerbaijan. The same disparity applies to Pashinyan’s recognition of Azerbaijan’s territory as 86,600 square kilometers, without President Aliyev agreeing to Pashinyan’s proposed size of Armenia’s territory as 29,800 square kilometers. Pashinyan also conceded that the former Azeri-inhabited enclaves within Armenia belong to Azerbaijan, while President Aliyev has not accepted a reciprocal exchange.

Finally, Pashinyan repeated his offer to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan by year-end even though there is no necessity for such a treaty as Armenia and Azerbaijan had not declared war on each other. The peace treaty will only serve as an opportunity for Azerbaijan to extract further concessions from Armenia.

Pashinyan concluded his 45-minute speech by repeating the word “democracy” two more times: “I am convinced that democracy can provide peace, security, unity, prosperity and happiness. Let’s prove this together. Long live democracy!”

The European Parliament members were extremely pleased with Pashinyan’s remarks. Why shouldn’t they? Pashinyan is going along with the interests of the West, Russia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, which is the abandonment of Artsakh, to facilitate the flow of Azerbaijan’s natural gas (partly bought from Russia) to Europe. Besides offering supportive words, European Parliament members are not willing to do anything concrete for Armenia.

I am sure Pashinyan will not post this article on his Facebook page.

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh one billion dollars of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. The article’s claim that Pashinyan has turned Armenia into a police state is a serious accusation that lacks substantial evidence. It’s important to differentiate between legitimate law enforcement and authoritarianism. Every government must maintain law and order to ensure the safety of its citizens.

    The article’s criticism of Pashinyan’s handling of refugees from Artsakh oversimplifies a complex situation. Settling 100,000 refugees in a short period is an immense challenge. It’s important to acknowledge that the Armenian government has faced significant difficulties in managing this crisis.

    • I suggest you read my article again, very carefully. First of all, I already reported on the basis on which I wrote that Pashinyan has turned Armenia into a police state. Anyone who follows the brutal behavior of the police in defense of the Pashinyan regime and violations of the rights of demonstrators will be convinced of that. I suggest you follow Armenian news more closely. Everything the police is doing now to disrupt the protests is exactly what Pashinyan did to come to power. When he violates the law, it is OK for you. But when the protesters march in the streets peacefully, that’s a violation of law and order. You must be kidding, Remember when Pashinyan in 2018 smashed the doors of the Armenian Public Radio building? What happened to law and order then?
      Secondly, regarding the Artsakh refugees, again you did not read carefully what I wrote. I know it was in an immense job. What I criticized Pashinyan for was his complete lack of preparation for the settlement of the refugees when everyone knew that such a forced migration was inevitable after the defeat of 2020.

    • “Every government must maintain law and order to ensure the safety of its citizens.”

      Sorry Davit the current useless incompetent loser PM has brought nothing but death, destruction and loss to ALL ARMENIAN CITIZENS since he was installed. He cant even protect Armenia’s borders let alone Artsakh as HE declared it as “part of Azerbaijan”. He sat and just watched as Karabakh was first starved and then bombarded having to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. He dismantled Armenia’s military structure as his first order weakening it. HE himself lost the war and is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of lives. He is incompetent and vindictive. He claims to be “democratic” yet crushes any domestic criticism by claiming they are “outside agents” instead of truly Armenian citizens disgruntled for the massive losses he presided over.. He spies on domestic opposition using Israeli Pegasus spy software and bans diaspora critics from even entering Armenia. HE IS NOT KING. He is worse then that: a danger to All Armenians. Is this all OK by you?

  2. Mr. Sassounosn,
    I’d like to read your article about Aliyev boasting about Azerbaijan’s fake democracy. Ohhh, wait! You never wrote that and instead focused on setting up a circular firing squad. Bravo!

  3. I can’t understand what you wrote. I suggest that you follow the developments in Armenia more closely to understand what I wrote.

  4. Western powers, including the United States, are in reality plutocratic (elitist) governments pretending to be democracies. What we know as democracy, essentially mob rule, is self-limiting and destructive. This is why Western powers prescribe it to other nations. Simply put, it’s meant to make nations vulnerable to manipulation and exploitation.

    Nikol was brought to power in 2018 by Western and Turkish interests. And it has been Armenian-style political illiteracy and cognitive dissonance that has since kept him in power. It was Western style “democracy” that therefore got Armenia and Artsakh to where there are today. Next to fall victim to “democracy” will be Syunik. Armenians deserve everything that has happened to them since 2018.

    If you love Armenia and want to see it survive, the ONLY thing to hope for now is for Russia to annex Armenia so we can be done with this 30-year old nightmare called “independence”.

    • Harout, name the people who were not allowed to enter Armenian but also please make a tiny research on why add are they not allowed. Do you think a person who attacks a PM’s car is not posing a threat to the country ? Don’t you think that attacking an elected official isn’t an attack on a state’s sovereignty?

  5. Concerned Armenian or should I say Coward Armenian,

    Here you go again with your Bolshevik Kremlin propanga “Russia to annex Armenia”, is that what you have been paid for and trained to say by people like Vladimir Solovyov or big mouth Margarita.
    By the way, didn’t we already tried that for 100+ years and we end up loosing Western Armenia, Naghijevan, Artsakh and now they are under Occupation of Turks and Azeris because of your beloved Bolsheviks?

    • Mary M,

      We lost Western Armenia 100 years ago and Artsakh currently precisely because of Armenians like you. I suggest you read some serious history books before you parrot silly fairytales made up by Western financed mercenaries.

    • Very well said Mary. We see the same broken record in each and every article whether relevant or not. May be Concerned Russian being paid in Roubles isn’t going too far. Or he is trying his newly acquired copy/ paste skill on every platform

    • @Mary M

      1) Western Armenia was lost before Armenia joined the Soviet Union.

      2) The Armenian people welcomed the Bolsheviks with open arms as they recognised that the Bolsheviks were the only force who could stop the Turks from seizing Eastern Armenia.

      3) Artsakh was lost when Pashinyan declared that the Armenian Army would not fight for Artsakh. When Armenians refuse to die for Artsakh, why should any Russian?

      4) 99.99% of Americans cannot find Armenia on a map. The idea that America will protect Armenia is just ludicrous.

      5) The Turks are on Armenia’s western and eastern borders, without Russia,the Turks would march in and take Syunik.

      6) The Armenians and only the Armenians are responsible for Armenia’s plight, they know perfectly well that Pashinyan, who looks and talks like a carpet salesman, is a traitor and yet they voted him into power and keep him in power.

      When Armenians do not care about Armenia, why should anybody else?

      7) You only have to look at a map to see why Armenia must alwYs remain close to Russia.

    • @Robert,

      Could not have said it better myself. “Mary M” supports a group of criminals and mercenaries known as Azgayin Bever (formerly Sasna Tsrer) who are known to have ties to the Israeli Mossad, Washington DC and George Soros.

      Judging from what I have been seeing here and in various other social media platforms recently, there is a serious effort being made by internet activists to convince us Armenians that Armenia needs to fully come out of Russia’s orbit, embrace Western powers and make friends with Turkey. This effort is designed to isolate Armenia further by deepening the rift between Moscow and Yerevan. Artsakh’s fall was not enough for them. Their main goal now is to have their way with Armenia when the country is totally alone. Therefore, don’t automatically assume that individuals that post politically motivated comments on these boards (usually along the lines of Russia bad, Westerns good, Turks are potential friends, Russians are covert enemies, etc.) are curious Turks or Westerners, or even “patriotic” Armenians who just happened to stumble across this website. I have no doubt that many of these individuals are paid cyber-activists trying to mold minds, ultimately because they know Armenian minds are easy to mold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.