Why does Nikol Pashinyan need war with Azerbaijan?

Why does Nikol Pashinyan need war with Azerbaijan?

Armenia's obvious preparations for the resumption of large-scale hostilities with Azerbaijan - the organization of the militia, the purchase of Middle Eastern militants, the women's military training - look illogical at first. The republic is in a difficult economic and epidemiological situation, it lacks the strength to cope with internal problems, which means that it does not have the resources for the war. And yet, instead of fighting the coronavirus, negotiating with Russia on opening the border, resuming a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict - that is, solving existing problems - the Armenian government prefers to spend time, money and people on preparing for war.

However, no matter how irresponsible it is, it has some logic, and it lies in the very nature of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's political power. The fact is that Pashinyan is a classic populist who became a leader thanks to loud promises, which were never backed by any well-developed and, most importantly, realistic program. A populist incapable of real leadership can be at the top of power for a long time only due to the strength of the state structure, saying that "work is being done in the right direction", and, of course, persecution of the previous regime and opposition.

This was the case in Armenia in 2018-2019, but this year everything has changed fundamentally due to the coronavirus pandemic - among other things, Covid-19 has become a tough test for the authorities in the whole world on the ability to effectively lead states in a situation of emergency force majeure. Populist Nikol Pashinyan could not pass such an exam, his steps were chaotic, contradictory and, as a result, useless both in epidemiological and socio-economic terms. As a result, Armenia turned out to be the most affected country with coronavirus in the South Caucasus (16 people per 1,000 population), and the annual economic decline, according to the Central Bank of Armenia, is already estimated at 6.2%, and a lot of people have lost their earnings.

The dissatisfaction with Nikol Pashinyan's actions in Armenia has been growing for a long time, his support by voters is declining, thus, he is gradually losing power. Since the populist prime minister does not know other methods of strengthening power, except for populist ones, he is preparing the country for a war with an external enemy - Azerbaijan, so that Azerbaijan can write off all the problems that Armenia cannot cope with. Objectively, this will only lead the republic into an even greater socio-economic hole, deprive its budget of the last money that could have been spent on the needs of people instead of super-costly maintaining the occupation of Azerbaijani territories. From the point of view of the Armenian society and the state, it is not logical to foment a war with Azerbaijan - but Nikol Pashinyan, who is striving to preserve the prime minister's chair, has his own logic.

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