Navigating complexity: the contradictory path of Nikol Pashinyan

    ANALYTICS  16 April 2024 - 18:13

    Murad Abiyev
    Caliber.Az

    We often and rightly criticize Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for inconsistency in promoting the peace agenda, indulging in revanchism in Armenian society, promoting the interests of third forces and militarization of the region. However, at the same time, it must be recognized that Pashinyan is a complex figure, and some of his actions in the long term could serve to establish peace and stability in the region.

    These are, first of all, his statements questioning one of the main spiritual pillars of the Armenian nation - territorial claims to its neighbours. Let's remember how back in June of last year he spoke about Mount Agrydag located in Türkiye on the Armenian state emblem: “What is depicted on our coat of arms? Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat, coats of arms of the four dynasties of Armenia. Lately, when I look at this coat of arms, I have a question: how is the image, which is a shrine for each of us, connected with the state founded in 1991? What is it about? Noah's Ark is located on Mount Ararat, and today's territory of the Republic of Armenia is underwater. A lion that has not been in Armenia for a long time under natural conditions.” The prime minister then asked those present if they had thought about how the image relates to each family and what it says about the future. It was then that Pashinyan first voiced the thesis about “oscillations between historical and real Armenia,” to which we will return below.

    In February of this year, in an interview with Public Television, Pashinyan continued to discuss this topic, this time coming up with an allegory with bulls and a grandmother: “Imagine, we are walking along the same road, we need to go from point A to point B. Let's go and we see that there are bulls on both sides of the road. And we are dressed all in red. Moreover, these red clothes were sewn for me by my grandmother, who is no longer alive. This is a talisman for me. But we must go this way. This is where we have to discuss and decide together.” The particular value of that interview is that in it Pashinyan spoke about the need to revise the Constitution of Armenia, which, as we know, disputes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. It was the provisions of the Constitution that Pashinyan compared with the red clothes that his grandmother sewed.

    And speaking recently in the National Assembly, Pashinyan again touched upon the topic of national psychology, using the conflict between the so-called "historical" and real Armenia already cited above. The speech was quite eloquent, surprisingly slender, and contained a number of interesting ideas and images. For example, the following: "From this moment (September 2022) the actual political and psychological process, which can be called the process of demarcation between real Armenia and historical Armenia, has actually started. The process of demarcation and delimitation between real and historical Armenia is no easier than the process of demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Frankly speaking, the process of demarcation between real and historical Armenia is much more painful also because this demarcation takes place inside each of us and reveals unexpected layers and nuances".

    Let us not now argue with the Prime Minister regarding the legitimacy of the concept of “historical Armenia”. One way or another, this concept is so deeply ingrained in the minds of ordinary Armenians that trying to challenge it quickly is a completely impossible task. Understanding this, Pashinyan takes a different path - he says that reality does not coincide with history, and history should not be a reason for changing reality. And even in this mild form, such a paradigm shift is already fundamental and shocking for the Armenian society, which is accustomed to attaching extremely sacred meaning and elevating its largely fictitious history to the rank of absolute.

    The most interesting thing is that a few days after the aforementioned speech in parliament, Pashinyan nevertheless stepped even further and made an attempt to carefully revise his attitude towards the events of 1915. On April 14, the Armenian Prime Minister gave a lecture at the School of Democracy on the topic “Social Psychology of the Republic of Armenia.” During his speech, Pashinyan made an attempt to invite listeners to look at the problem of “genocide” through the prism of global geopolitics and, in particular, Soviet-Turkish relations. Here is how the opposition publication Hraparak writes about it: “The main essence of the hour-long lecture was that the topic of statements about the Armenian genocide was aggravated by Russia, more precisely the USSR, when, starting in 1946, relations between Russia and Türkiye worsened and NATO was created. According to Pashinyan, the USSR organized the return of emigrants who escaped the genocide, which further aggravated the issue of claims. Throughout the entire lecture, Pashinyan did not use the words “genocide,” “Metz Yeghern,” or “misfortune,” which Armenians have always accused US presidents of.”

    Hraparak also notes that a day after the lecture, member of the “Civil Contract” Andranik Kocharyan continued Pashinyan’s theme, openly questioning the fact of “genocide”, calling for the names of all victims of the “Armenian genocide” to be found out and recorded. “In the end, you need to have a list of all the victims. What if it turns out to be more or less than 1.5 million, as is commonly believed,” Kocharyan explained his position during parliamentary briefings,” the publication wrote.

    Opposition journalists associate such rhetoric by Pashinyan and his associates with compliance with Türkiye’s precondition - refusal to exaggerate the topic of “genocide” in order to normalize relations.

    If this is really the reason, then we can only rejoice at the current situation, which demonstrates the strength of Türkiye, capable of dictating its own rules of the game contrary to the wishes of Armenia’s traditional patrons.

    However, it seems to me that the picture is a little more complex and still reflects the deep-seated request of the healthy side of the Armenian society to change the existing state of affairs, to improve the consciousness, suffocating in the musty fumes of national exclusivity. This deep-seated request overlaps with Pashinyan’s political program. In general, we can conclude that in the short and medium term Pashinyan is playing for revanchists, but in the long term, on the contrary, he is betting on the healthy forces of Armenian society. Pashinyan, a politician, uses the short term to stay in power now, and the long term to try to stay in power in the future.

    Well, the main thing is that long-range plans are not sacrificed to those near.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Will Ebrahim Raisi’s death alter regional geopolitics? Inescapable partnership

30 May 2024 - 15:30

Georgia's deep seaport project with China faces fierce criticism Balancing act amid geopolitical shifts

30 May 2024 - 17:40

Azerbaijan's green agenda & the battle against landmines Zangilan conference highlights the danger

30 May 2024 - 13:46

Aghdam and Khojaly: Powering Karabakh's future through industry and logistics From ruins to renaissance

30 May 2024 - 15:05

Russia’s plan to open consulate in Azerbaijan’s Khankendi raises eyebrows Strategic implications & forecasts

29 May 2024 - 17:29

Azerbaijani president embraces Khojaly returnees, outlines future vision for embattled town In the wake of President Aliyev’s speech

30 May 2024 - 15:54
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Europol's anti-hacker operation leads to arrests in Armenia, Ukraine

    30 May 2024 - 19:02

    France could announce sending military trainers to Ukraine soon

    Diplomats say

    30 May 2024 - 18:50

    Erdogan asserts Türkiye's stand against terrorist threats near southern borders

    30 May 2024 - 18:38

    EUobserver: European countries have limited intelligence sharing with Hungary

    30 May 2024 - 18:26

    Informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers to be held in Prague

    30 May 2024 - 18:14

    Mossad data points to Iran as culprit behind attacks on Israeli embassies

    30 May 2024 - 18:02

    French Polynesia officials call for global support in decolonization, economic development

    30 May 2024 - 17:50

    Georgia's deep seaport project with China faces fierce criticism

    Balancing act amid geopolitical shifts

    30 May 2024 - 17:40

    COP29 office opens in British Embassy in Baku

    30 May 2024 - 17:39

    ANAMA, UNDP agree to set up Centre of Excellence for mine action

    30 May 2024 - 17:27

    Far-right controversy dominates European Commission debates

    Ahead of June elections

    30 May 2024 - 17:15

    Armenia reforms security apparatus

    30 May 2024 - 17:04

    Georgian PM pledges to confront potential Maidan uprising

    30 May 2024 - 16:52

    West's actions destabilize South Caucasus, official Baku concurs - Russian Spokesperson

    30 May 2024 - 16:43

    Russia monitoring Azerbaijan-Armenia border delimitation for regional stability - Spokesperson

    30 May 2024 - 16:41

    French Polynesian leader seeks Azerbaijan’s support for decolonization efforts

    30 May 2024 - 16:29

    Echoes of colonialism: Kanaky's fight for independence from France continues

    The Guardian article

    30 May 2024 - 16:17

    Baku conference addresses French Polynesia's right to decolonization

    30 May 2024 - 16:06

    Azerbaijani president embraces Khojaly returnees, outlines future vision for embattled town

    In the wake of President Aliyev’s speech

    30 May 2024 - 15:54

    Official: Ukraine can use US air defences vs. Russian threats on Russian soil

    30 May 2024 - 15:42

    Zangilan conference highlights mine problem, humanitarian law violations

    OIC representative says

    30 May 2024 - 15:42

    Will Ebrahim Raisi’s death alter regional geopolitics?

    Inescapable partnership

    30 May 2024 - 15:30

    Israeli pundit calls handing over mine maps by Armenia a step towards peace

    30 May 2024 - 15:19

    Erdogan urges Armenia to break free from foreign influence for regional stability

    30 May 2024 - 15:17

    Aghdam and Khojaly: Powering Karabakh's future through industry and logistics

    From ruins to renaissance

    30 May 2024 - 15:05

    Human rights commission shocked by scale of destruction in Karabakh

    Highlights violations, mine threats

    30 May 2024 - 14:52

    US State Secretary emphasizes efforts to achieve peace between Baku, Yerevan

    30 May 2024 - 14:37

    Baku to host annual World Summit on Air Navigation

    30 May 2024 - 14:22

    Karabakh agriculture planning in focus at Azerbaijan's working group meeting

    30 May 2024 - 14:10

    Great Return: 15 more families returned to Shusha

    UPDATED/PHOTO

    30 May 2024 - 13:59

    Washington, Yerevan set to sign customs cooperation agreement

    30 May 2024 - 13:58

    Azerbaijan's green agenda & the battle against landmines

    Zangilan conference highlights the danger

    30 May 2024 - 13:46

    Armenia to repair railway in flood-hit areas with Russian assistance, says PM

    30 May 2024 - 13:46

    Red Crescent staff killed in Israeli strike on ambulance in Rafah

    30 May 2024 - 13:34

    Armenia Parliament speaker to lead delegation on Slovenia visit

    30 May 2024 - 13:22

    Minister Bayramov emphasises COP29 as catalyst for Azerbaijan-Pakistan cooperation

    30 May 2024 - 13:10

    Azerbaijan surges to second place in gas supplies to Türkiye

    30 May 2024 - 12:58

    Azerbaijan's FM highlights effectiveness of delimitation agreements with Armenia

    30 May 2024 - 12:54

    Zangilan-hosted conference on mine action ties to COP29 climate goals

    30 May 2024 - 12:46

    COP29 President: Mines pose dual threats to lives and sustainable development

    30 May 2024 - 12:34

All news