Naira Zohrabyan: "Drawing parallels between events in Armenia and Ukraine would be politically incorrect"
The biggest question that worries Russian political and expert community when they discuss events of this week in Armenia, which began after resignation of the Karabakh clan leader Serzh Sargsyan from the post of prime minister of the republic, is the question of future relations between new Yerevan and Moscow, especially since the entire opposition, including Prosperous Armenia, the largest party, continues to unite. Tsarukyan bloc MP Naira Zohrabyan discussed threats to Russian-Armenian contacts that may appear during transition of power from the hands Sargsyan to popular protest leaders in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- Will Sargsyan's resignation and expected rise of united opposition to power create any threats for the alliance between Armenia and Russia?
- There are no threats. The day before yesterday we had a meeting with our Russian colleagues in the parliament, and I, as co-chairman of the commission on European integration and a member of the Russian-Armenian interparliamentary commission, expressed my belief that this popular movement has no geopolitical context, it's not directed against Russia or against the US, against the EU. This movement is against corruption, lawlessness and stagnation, which formed for over two and a half decades. Drawing parallels between this movement and Ukrainian maidan would be absolutely politically incorrect, because protests focus solely on internal issues of Armenia, and external.
- How Armenian political forces view relations with Russia?
- I'm sure that no matter who will come to power in Armenia - whether it's Nikol Pashinyan or another political force - there will be no imbalance in relations with Russia. Armenia's foreign policy will remain the same as it always was, we will maintain strategic relations with Russia and very deep relations with the EU. The balance of foreign policy will remain unchanged under any prime minister.
- Are there any anti-Russian sentiments in the protest movement?
- There are no such sentiments. There was not a single hint at desire to cut off relations with Russia, and it's understandable, since these protests have no external agenda. People took to the streets to protest against the Republican Party, which ruined the country's economy for more than twenty years. For me as a citizen it's very important that the maid driver of this movement is youth, which wants to live in a normal, free and honest country. There was not a single anti-Russian or anti-European statement.
- How Armenian society views Russia's current position on democratic processes that happen right now?
- We welcome Maria Zakharova's official statement, that what's happening in Armenia is its internal problem and Russia will respect any choice that Armenian people will make. It's also important that events in our country are covered in their entirety, media don't try to present incomplete information, create incorrect impression. This morning we once again met with our Russian colleagues, and I think that they see everything clearly. Indeed, this Monday our nation felt that its voice has been heard, its opinion decides everything, and breaking this movement apart won't be easy. I'm very proud that all of this is happening without bloodshed. It's a revolution without the use of force.
- What does new, post-Sargsyan Armenia expect from Russia?
- We're waiting for relations of partnership, equality and respect. And I think that's how our relations will develop.