How Armenian political elite seeks money abroad
Foreign trips of the Armenian political elite are most often aimed at attracting financial resources to the unattractive economy of Armenia, which is hampered not only by the semi-blockade position of the republic, but also by the lack of equality in business, a high level of corruption and nepotism on the ground. However, the authorities are trying to use the resource of the diaspora, which is a kind of Armenian brand.
Today, the Armenian political elite is mastering modern information platforms that are popular among today's youth. So, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan entered the top 10 most active politicians on Facebook. After almost every meeting of parliament or a foreign tour, Pashinyan publishes a post on his page or goes live, where he shares his impressions with his subscribers. Sometimes it seems that the Armenian prime minister went into politics in order to simultaneously develop as a successful blogger. The prime minister’s desire to be popular in the eyes of the public may lead to the fact that his team will soon master the popular Donate Pay or Donation Alerts services, which carry out electronic fundraising (donations). The foreign Armenian audience is well suited to increase the number of subscribers, and it will be much easier and faster to collect money from it.
Now the authorities are trying to reduce the negative macroeconomic effect caused by the established belief in the corruption of the entire Armenian political elite. Pashinyan needs to rebrand Armenia in the eyes of foreign Armenians, in particular young Armenians, so efforts must be made to overcome the cultural and value barriers between the diaspora and post-Soviet Armenia. Speaking to the Armenians living in Belgium, France, Italy, Pashinyan introduces a simplified idea of the processes taking place in the republic into the consciousness of the diaspora. If it comes to the "revolution", then it is presented as pan-Armenian. If the question concerns any forum, then the Armenian elite will insist on holding it in Yerevan, and even in the occupied territory. At the same time, internal political problems are voiced casually or not mentioned at all.
So propaganda seeks to compensate for weak diplomacy at the expense of the foreign community. Yerevan is trying to rely on international law, constantly criticizing the policies of Azerbaijan, but the occupation of the territory of the neighboring republic greatly undermines this position. The inability of Armenian diplomacy to overcome the crisis in relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan suggests that the current foreign policy paradigm has become obsolete. For almost 30 years, Armenian diplomacy has come up with nothing more than the consolidation of the forces of a disparate diaspora due to hatred of its neighbors. Moreover, the Armenians living in European countries, such a policy is not particularly supported. Therefore, Yerevan’s bet on a strong diaspora capable of lobbying the interests of the republic abroad is most likely based on an inadequate perception of political realities.
One of the key goals of Pashinyan’s European visits was to instill the Armenians living there to support local Armenian separatism in a situation where modern foreign Armenians are reluctant to participate in the “liberation struggle” and do not define Azerbaijani statehood as their enemy in the territory of the South Caucasus. Another attempt by the Armenian political elite to evade responsibility for war crimes during the Karabakh war was carried out during the recent Milan visit of Nikol Pashinyan. Misleading the foreign public regarding the tragic events in Khojaly, Pashinyan eliminates the responsibility of the Armenian side for the military aggression in Karabakh, wanting to make the occupation regime legal and attractive. The Armenian authorities cannot legitimize the occupation and resort to the inversion of the events of the Karabakh conflict, believing that the future of the occupation regime depends on how the history is interpreted.