Trap’ for Nikol Pashinyan
Second president of Armenia Robert Kocharian recently arrested on charges of ‘toppling constitutional order’ in the context of the shooting of demonstrators on March 1, 2008, may be too ‘tough nut to crack’ for the current government. ‘People's prime-minister’ Nikol Pashinyan initially realized that the greatest danger to his regime comes from Kocharyan, therefore, it must be disposed of until the new government has exhausted the ‘revolutionary fuse’ of the population. However, the inner and foreign policy events may not allow pushing the matter through.
An arrest as a pre-trial restriction was a complete surprise not only for Kocharyan himself. If earlier Pashinyan team's actions were perceived in Moscow with some kind of irritation, which was manifested in some publications of the influential Russian media, like Gazeta.ru or Lenta.ru, or in skeptical statements at the expert level, the Russian Foreign Ministry was unable to hide disappointment and concern over the recent actions of the government of ‘new Armenia’.
"The events of recent days clearly violate the positive attitude, run counter to the recent statements by the new leadership of Armenia, that it has no intentions to organize the persecution of its predecessors for the political reasons. As an ally of Yerevan, Russia has always been interested in the stability of the Armenian state. That is why we are concerned with the events happening there, including from the point of view of the normal work of those organizations in the CIS area, in which Armenia participates,’’ Sergey Lavrov said.
Two days before the unprecedented in its rigidity statement made by Lavrov, an unnamed high-ranking representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed in a conversation with TASS the astonishment of the Armenian Foreign Ministry's ‘unprofessionalism’ in the matter of the procedure for recalling CSTO Secretary General Yury Khachaturov. In general, it could be assumed that the Kremlin will remain indifferent in a situation when without prior warning, the Armenian authorities arrest the CSTO Secretary General. Even considering the fact that he is a citizen of Armenia, Khachaturov is currently representing a pro-Russian military bloc and his criminal prosecution can negatively affect the image and functioning of the organization.
This is not the only secret ‘line’ that Nicol Pashinyan passes in the relations with Moscow. On the one hand, his security officials are setting up a case against the head of the CSTO, Khachaturov. On the other hand, after Pashinyan's presence at the NATO summit in Brussels in mid-July (he was there, incidentally, the only head of the CSTO member country), Armenia decided to participate in the NATO military exercises in Georgia entitled ‘Noble Partner’. Recall that previous year, under the regime of Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia attempted to participate in these drills, but at the last moment, Yerevan refused this idea - as experts noted then, the decision was taken with an eye to the Kremlin.
However, let's return to detained ex-president Robert Kocharyan. After his detention, he made a cunning move, which put the authorities in a deadlock. 38 deputies of the National Assembly of Armenia signed a guarantee to change the measure of restraint to the arrested Robert Kocharyan. Among the signatories are the speaker and two vice-speakers of the parliament. Now Pashinyan faced a difficult dilemma. If the court does not change the measure of restraint for Kocharyan who is under the investigation under to the guarantee of as many as 38 deputies, then on this background, the release of numerous members of the Sasna Tsrrer terrorist group, whose hands are in blood of the policemen killed in 2016, under the guarantee of one or two parliamentarians will be monstrous. If the court releases Kocharyan, then ‘the enemy number one’ of the current government will be free, and this will inevitably be perceived as the slack of the ‘people's prime minister’, who surrendered to Moscow and the Republicans.
The next move after Pashinyan. He has already called on his supporters to attend the rally on August 17 on the occasion of the 100 days of his tenure as prime minister. Probably, Nikol wants to demonstrate both raising their heads Republicans and criticizing his actions Moscow, that he can still rely firmly on mass support of the population of Armenia. It can not be ruled out that until then the pro-government media will be actively heating up the sentiment against Russia. The Aravot and 1in.am newspapers close to the current authorities already fired sharp anti-Russian articles yesterday. If this is the way that the current Armenian government wants to go, then it's time for Russia to think about the preventive measures in order to recall Armenia from the Brussels dreams to the land still protected by Russian soldiers.