What will 2018 be remembered for in Armenia?
2018 will enter the history of Armenia as the year of the change of the elites, the bloodless revolution, due to which the Karabakh clan headed by Serzh Sargsyan and Robert Kocharyan lost power in the republic. The ex-mayor of Yerevan Vahagn Khachatryan, the director of the Armenian branch of the Institute of CIS countries, Alexander Markarov and the former head of the Central Bank of Armenia, Bagrat Asatryan spoke about the ongoing year with the correspondents of Vestnik Kavkaza.
Vahagn Khachatryan stressed that the revolution was a most important event of this year. ”Due to the April events, the 20-year rule of the regime associated with the names of Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan ended, the rule of the Republican Party was terminated. Young people, led by Nikol Pashinyan, came to power, and, in my opinion, all the citizens of Armenia are very pleased with what happened in April. Everything else in the year, both good and bad, eclipsed this event, "he said, adding that nothing else had changed in the life of Armenia.
"In foreign policy, the current government officially stated clearly that it was following the policy of the previous government, including relations with Russia, that is, the foreign policy changes in Armenia did not happen. As for the economy, then, of course, after the revolution, everyone expects rapid changes, but unfortunately, it is not yet possible,’’ the ex-mayor of Yerevan said.
Alexander Markarov agreed with him. "The outgoing year was primarily remembered by the change of elites. The process, which was launched in April-May and marked by the election of the Yelk opposition bloc’s leader, Nikol Pashinyan, as Prime Minister. The political process of Armenia’s re-branding lasted until December of this year, ending with the parliamentary elections in which the political force supported by Pashinyan gained an absolute majority of votes and an absolute majority of seats in the parliament, "he said.
"In general, for Armenia, the year was, although not fatal, but rather difficult from the point of view of reformatting the political field and the need for political players to understand the rules of the game that they follow in the future," the director of the Armenian branch of the CIS Institute concluded.
Bagrat Asatryan expressed confidence that the outgoing year would stay in the history of modern Armenia. "We really had a revolution. Our former political system led to the death of the country as such. Over the past decade, by most indicators in Armenia, there was only negative dynamics, starting with the state of the economy and ending with the most significant indicator of mass migration for any country. During 10 years of Serzh Sargsyan’s rule, the difference between departures and arrivals exceeded 400 thousand people, and for a republic with a population of fewer than 3 million people, this is a huge figure, 15% of citizens left Armenia forever. Before the revolution, we had thieves’ oligarchic system, where the first person in the state controls absolutely everything, regulates everything, up to the actions of people. The laws worked as far as it was necessary for people in power. Thus, what happened was really a historic event, " he stressed.
“The most important thing in the post-revolutionary period is stabilization. The oligarchic system, which at the very least ensured stability before, no longer exists today. That is, we were liberated, but now the freedom should be properly managed. The time is needed to resolve many problems that have not yet been solved. In general, both politically and economically, one of the most impressive results of the year is the parliamentary elections, the first elections, when the population was deciding, but not the crime structures and the police. By February, we will have the new government, and I hope that new programs and documents will be adopted that will determine the future of our country," the former chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia concluded.