Pashinyan a greater threat to Armenia’s security than Artsakh’s government-in-exile

We all know the disasters that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has brought upon Armenia, in addition to losing Artsakh due to his incompetence.

We can cite Pashinyan’s many misguided actions and contradictory statements. Following his complete mismanagement of the military as commander-in-chief during the 2020 war in Artsakh, Pashinyan is now making sure that Armenians forget about the loss of Artsakh by wiping out its name from people’s memory.

Pashinyan took no action to protect Artsakh Armenians’ right to live peacefully in their millennia-old homeland. He also made no advance preparations to house the over 100,000 refugees from Artsakh, even though he knew that after the 2020 war Artsakh Armenians would eventually flee to Armenia.

To make matters worse, knowing that in future elections Artsakh Armenians will not vote for his political party, Pashinyan declared that they are not citizens of Armenia. These people for decades have had passports of the Republic of Armenia, which were recognized not only by Armenia but also by foreign countries when they traveled overseas. Regrettably, thousands of Artsakh Armenians have since left Armenia for Russia to find shelter and work to be able to feed their families.

Furthermore, Pashinyan refuses to meet with any Artsakh official and opposes Artsakh Armenians holding protests in Yerevan to complain about their dire conditions in Armenia.

Here is the latest example of Pashinyan’s anti-Artsakh actions. Last week, the President of Artsakh Samvel Shahramanyan gave an interview to the French Le Figaro newspaper in which he said that the Republic of Artsakh continues to exist despite its occupation by Azerbaijan. He also stated that there is an Artsakh government-in-exile in Yerevan, where his offices are located.

Shahramanyan’s words angered Pashinyan, who immediately lashed out and warned that legal action will be taken against all those who talk about an Artsakh government-in-exile. Without any evidence, Pashinyan accused the Artsakh leaders of threatening Armenia’s national security. Not understanding the meaning of the term “government-in-exile,” Pashinyan said that there is only one government in Armenia, and there cannot be a second government, even though nobody was talking about creating a second government. If Pashinyan had any knowledgeable advisers, they would have informed him that there are, in many countries, dozens of governments-in-exile that are universally accepted under international law.

PM Nikol Pashinyan during the March 28 cabinet meeting: “In Armenia, apart from the Government of the Republic of Armenia, no other government can exist.” (Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia)

In reality, the only person in Armenia who is threatening the security of Armenia is Pashinyan himself. Not only has he not defended the rights of Artsakh Armenians who are citizens of Armenia, but he has also allowed Azerbaijan’s military to cross Armenia’s borders in 2021 and 2022. In addition, when President Aliyev demanded that Armenia hand over four Armenian villages to Azerbaijan, Pashinyan warned their inhabitants that otherwise Azerbaijan would start a new war.

In his harsh reply to Shahramanyan, Pashinyan also threatened to take appropriate measures so that “foreign forces do not use certain [Artsakh] circles as a threat to the security of Armenia.” It is regrettable that Pashinyan is falsely accusing Artsakh Armenians of being manipulated by foreigners.

Pashinyan’s real problem is not Artsakh’s government-in-exile, but the fact that Artsakh Armenians are taking steps to keep the memory of Artsakh alive, which is highly embarrassing for him, since he is the one who gave it away. We have lost Artsakh to the enemy, but we should not erase it from our memory. We have an obligation not only to remember Artsakh, but transmit the dream of returning to Artsakh to the next generation. This is critical, because if future generations do not know that Artsakh is Armenian land, when the opportunity presents itself for its liberation, they will not take advantage of it, thus losing Artsakh forever, not because of what the enemy has done but because of our own inaction.

In the meantime, we can only regret that Armenia’s prime minister, wittingly or unwittingly, is doing Aliyev’s bidding by trying to suppress even the memory and dream of Artsakh. Furthermore, it would be shameful if Pashinyan, acting on his threats, ordered the arrest of Artsakh leaders in Armenia, thus joining Baku in holding Artsakh leaders as captives.

With each passing day, Pashinyan is intensifying his anti-Armenian actions. How long will Armenians in Armenia and the Diaspora remain silent in the face of such self-defeating actions? When will Armenians wake up from their slumber, say “enough is enough” and find a new competent leader to lead the nation out of this quagmire? Contrary to Pashinyan’s contention, Artsakh is not a closed issue. Armenians should not continue to sit with their arms folded and watch Armenia gradually disappear because of the misdeeds of one man!

Finally, it would be shameful if Shahramanyan and other Artsakh officials were to be forced by Pashinyan to leave Armenia and relocate their government-in-exile to a foreign country.

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.

15 Comments

  1. Dear Harut,
    If previous Governments had not sold Armenia to Russians, enriched themselves instead of building the Nation, and kicked the can down the road for over 30 years regarding settling the Artsakh issue while in a position of power, you wouldn’t have to write this article.

    • Arthur, the person who lost Artsakh is Pashinyan. I know the previous leaders much better than you. They were no angels. I confronted them when they were in power, while those who are criticizing them now were quiet like a mouse back then. I confronted the former leaders sitting in the Presidential Palace facing them, not writing a critical comment in the Armenian Weekly now that they are out of power.

  2. Dera Mr. Sassounian

    Have you ever wondered why people like Shahramanian and his team passed through the Lachin corridor so easily without Azer-Turks and Russian interference? Armenians are not only fighting against the Putin-led coalition they are fighting internal enemies like uneducated and corrupt opposition such as Gegham Manookian and murderer Robert Kocharian who are Putin’s agents in the Armenian Parliament.

  3. 120,000 Artsakh Armenians were able to come to Armenia, not just Shahramanyan. He was one of them. Why were you so quiet when the former leaders were in power? I was not quiet then and I am not quiet now.

  4. This is to thank Mr.Harut Sassounian for his services to Armenian communities and to their well being through his writings.I find Mr Sassounian has vast knowledge about Armenian history, world politics and large memory bank of important political and historical events. Mr. Sassounian’s writings are resourceful, balanced, informative and educational.

    The following are opinions about current issue/matters related to Armenians by an Armenian

    1-ARMENIANS MOSTLY GENEROUS, FRIENDLY, SMART, BRAVE AND GOOD PEOPLE
    2-GEOGRAPHY OF ARMENIA IS VERY DEMANDED FROM WEST, EAST NORTH AND SOUTH COUNTRIES
    3.OTHERWISE, ARMENIA HAS NO NATURAL RESOURCES OTHER THAN being FIRST CHRISTIAN NATION ON THIS EARTH AND AS FAR AS KNOWN IN THE ENTIRE Universe
    4.RUSSIA IS THE LARGEST, RICHEST, COLDEST AND MOST VODKA DRINKERS ON EARTH AND HAVE INTERESTS AND ACCESS IN ARMENIA FOR THE WHOLE REGION SECURITY ie Russia does not need more land other than peaceful neighbors, friends BUT NO TRAITORS
    5. ARTSAKH IS AN ARMENIAN REGION AND ARTSAKHIS WILL RETURN to ARTSAKH WITH THE HELP OF RUSSIA AND SOME WEST COUNTRIES
    6.PM NIKOLE SHOULD KNOW THAT ANY ARMENIAN POPULATED VILLAGE CAN NOT BE RETURNED TO AZERBAIGAN EVEN THOUGH MAY BE SOME VILLAGES WERE ON THE BORDER OF LATE SOVIET ARRANGEMENT HENCE THE NEGOTIATION SKILLS REQUIRED BUT NOT BY PM NIKOLE!!
    7.AZERBAIJAN IS NOT A FREE COUNTRY THAT IS WHY IT IS DANGEROUS IN THE REGION AND GETS ORDERS FROM OUTSIDE AND PAYS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO WEST!!?
    8-PM NIKOLE HAS TO ESTABLISH UNITY GOVERNMENT IN ARMENIA IMMEDIATELY, APPOINT NEW PM WHO HAS TO FOCUS ON BUILDING THE COUNTRY’S INFRASTRUCTURE, RAISE THE ECONOMIC CAPACITY OF ARMENIA WITH THE HELP OF ARMENIAN PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD THEN PM NIKOLE MAY BE KNOWN IN THE FUTURE AS THE GREAT NIKOLE OF ARMENIA OTHERWISE PM NIKOLE NOW IS FAILING DAY BY DAY IN ACHIEVING SECURITY, UNITY AND IT IS NOT FAIR TO ALL ARMENIANS TO REPRESENT THEM [AND ARMENIA] IN THESES SITUATIONS

  5. Brother Harut, is it worth responding to keyboard heroes?
    If these commentators support Pashinyan so much;
    Russians are looking for investors to sell their companies and goods. They can go to Armenia and buy them at very good prices…
    Let them clean Armenia from Putin, that is, from the Russians…

    BULDOMUSTO PASHİNYAN

  6. According to your own words “Finally, it would be shameful if Shahramanyan and other Artsakh officials”

    So Shahramanian acted like his counterpart Lev Karakhan of 1921 who handed Kars, Ardahan, and Nakhichevan to our number one enemy with the help of another Vladimir for the shameful act of the 1921 Moscow treaty.

    Lev Karakhan was executed in 1936 during Staline’s great purge.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Moscow_(1921)

  7. Either the Armenian Army stages a coup or the Armenian people rise up in a revolution, either way Pashinyan must be made to flee.

    Let him go to the Diaspora, he is their man.

    • Too late, Armenia is and will be part of the EU and the US protection away from old Soviet corrupt bloodsucker Putin’s regime. All those Armenians who still believe in coups and military provocation can go to Putin’s land and get some advice from Maria Zakharova.

  8. @GB

    Go on, GB, wave yout magic wand and change Armwnia’s geography.

    “US protection”?

    You’ve outed yourself as a deluded fantasist.

    99.99% of Americans cannot find Armenia on a mao.

    You come from a country that is sexually confused, is trying to put the leader of the opposition in jail and is tearing itself apart over pronouns.

    The idea that the Americans will protect Armenia is ridiculous.

  9. As friend of Armenia,Pashinyan is acting against the national interest of Armenia and Artaskh, it is important to see what he did in the past 5 years than to extetnalize, he lost the 44 days war, he would have to fight with ordinary Armenian military,after 3 years he lost the territory at large and if he is let to continue he will also loss the corrider that connects Armenia with Iran; thus, Pashinyan ought to be removed before it is too late, the interest of Armenia is sold.

  10. Armenians are systematically being led to the slaughter once again because Armenians refuse to understand the nature and character of the political world they live in once again. With a people this politically illiterate and out of touch with reality, I guess it could not have been any other way. I hope all you champions of “independence”, “democracy” and “westernization” are enjoying the nightmare of the past 6 years. You got your dream in 2018 in the form of a Western-financed “democratic” revolution in Armenia. You then got what you truly deserved in 2020, a historic defeat. The only way to save what’s left of Armenia is to bring her back to Mother Russia. All other “solutions” will only prolong the misery and put the country’s very existence in danger.

  11. There is much missing the point as usual. The wishful thinking of the Armenian government not to seek a settlement in 1994 and prevaricated until Azerbaijan had built up it’s strength and then it was too late. Not even recognising Arktash as independent only ever recognised the inhabitants right of self determination the bare minimum of political support! Failure to acknowledge Russian duplicity and hypocrisy, condemning Armenia for occupation of parts of internationally recognised Azerbaijan yet Russia has it’s own presence in Georgia and Ukraine without the approval of their nations governments. Note that Russia doesn’t support any breakaways in Azerbaijan but does so for Georgia. The notion about what the USA could do for Armenia is apt it’s ability to support Georgia which is more accessible is limited and as stated Ukraine is the priority also there is a general feeling that East Asia is set for a conflict which will draw on US priorities. Simply put Armenia is not the centre of interest by the great powers. As for government in exile, as Armenia has acknowledged that the area was part of Azerbaijan as per the mendacious Soviet assignments for Armenia to host a said government in exile would be amounting to disputing this hence the hostility to such a proposal. Despite not adjoining Russia , Armenia mortgaged it’s economy to Russia in exchange for protection whilst Russia never affirmed due to it being officially part of Azerbaijan,that it would protect Armenian interests in N-K there was a general assumption that as Armenia’s ally it would in the event . This turned out to be a grossly niave misplaced presumption. In addition Russian attempts to collectively punish Armenia since 2020 have done more to damage it’s reputation amongst Armenians than to fail the current Armenian government which whilst loosing some credibility hasn’t lost level of credibility Russia has in Armenia especially amongst the population of Arktash who had entrusted their security in Russia only to find themselves blockaded without relief and with morale collapsing attacked by Azerbaijan and the Russian military simply supervising their exile to Armenia. Those who comdem Pashinyan for recognising Arktash as part of Azerbaijan ought to note that Russia has always considered it part of Azerbaijan since it decided as the previous Soviet Union this was where it was to be and on 22 February 2022 with its invasion of Ukraine imminent, something that it’s most unlikely that the Azeri government wasn’t aware of! in a treaty with Azerbaijan affirmed support for its internationally recognised (Soviet) boundaries and opposition to secessionist movements hence Russia had already abandoned the Armenians of Arktash to Azerbaijan whilst pretending to the Armenian population it was sympathetic to their cause and welfare.

    • Thank you Charles for your brilliant analysis of “Mother Putin”. You have truly expressed the truth with your insightful explanation. It is important to note that Armenia will never return to its old corrupt system, and those who oppose Mr. Pashinyan must understand that the government will always include parliamentarians and uphold the rule of law, regardless of who the Prime Minister is. We have a generation of young, enthusiastic Armenians who will undoubtedly perform even better than Pashinyan himself. Below is an interview with some of these bright minds discussing our governing system and the exciting future of the Armenian parliament.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PyyPSnxQXQ

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