In 2015, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan unveiled his draft of a new constitution proposing a transition from presidential rule to a parliamentary system, where the prime minister would serve as the head of the state. The prevailing belief among the political circles and the population, was that with these changes, Sargsyan was trying to extend his rule, considering that the previous constitution did not allow him to run for a 3rd term.

Serzh Sargsyan, however, assured everyone that he had no intention of remaining in power and will not run for the prime minister’s job in the future. The constitutional changes were adopted in a referendum, which was marred by large-scale fraud.

In April 2018, breaking his previous promise, Serzh Sargsyan was elected by the parliament as the prime minister. At the time, he justified his move with his desire to shape a generation of young future leaders. Shortly thereafter, nationwide protests broke out overthrowing Sargsyan’s Republican-led party rule.

This week, in an interview with ArmNews TV, Serzh Sargsyan, contradicting his previous positions on this subject, gave an entirely different reason as to why he tried to stay in power. According to this new explanation, he wanted to remain in power in order to implement the “Lavrov” plan, named after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for the settlement of the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) conflict. According to this plan, 5 regions surrounding Artsakh were to be returned to Azerbaijan upon signing of an agreement, and the future of the other two regions would have been linked to the timing of the referendum on the future status of Artsakh. “Not only was I ready to sign, but I exclusively agreed to remain the prime minister of the Republic of Armenia to implement that option. And I was not going to sign it in secret, but naturally, after achieving what we were striving for, it was going to be a topic of public discussion and heated debate,” said the third president in the same interview.

Regardless of his evolving reasons for staying in office, Sargsyan admitted that he was ready to hand over the territories but was not able to do so because of the 2018 Velvet Revolution which toppled his government. Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia, Armen Grigoryan, referring to the former president’s interview, said that during the four-day war in April 2016, Aliyev was promised the return of the seven regions and that is why Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire at a time when it was gaining the upper hand on the battlefield.

Before and after Serzh Sargsyan’s admission, the reality remains the same. In 1998, when the first president, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, spoke of making peace with Azerbaijan, he was ousted in a “palace coup.” After which, for twenty years, Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan ruled the country together, taking no concrete steps to modernize the Armenian military – even after the April war, when Azerbaijan’s air superiority became apparent. The development and implementation of plans to improve the Armed Forces and establishing a military balance, remained inadequate.

With his statement of willingness to hand over the seven regions, Serzh Sargsyan came to acknowledge the fact that over the years, promises were made to Azerbaijan, which were then passed on to the new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as an “inheritance.” At the same time, with his admission, Sargsyan has betrayed his own allies in the opposition who have accused Pashinyan of committing “treason”  and demanding his resignation for signing the November 9 agreement, withdrawing the military from the seven regions in Artskah, during the six-week war.

After four months of futile street protests to topple the government, the opposition needs to change its agenda and its slogan, otherwise, it will continue to remain on the sidelines, rebuffed by the majority of the Armenian society.

  1. We don’t know whether Azerbaijan was EVER going to sign a FAIR agreement on Artsakh that was ACCEPTABLE to Armenians.

    After all, it takes two to sign an agreement.

    What kind of autonomy would Artsakh have gotten? We have NO IDEA.

    We don’t know who would have guarded the corridor (just one?) leading to Artsakh from Armenia.

    We don’t know who would have guarded Artsakh’s borders.

    We don’t know how well the return of Azeris (22% of the population in 1988) to Artsakh would have worked out.

    We don’t know how much control Azerbaijan would have had over Artsakh.

    We don’t know if there would have been a demilitarized zone around Artsakh and the corridors.

    In short, we know NOTHING.

    In nearly 30 years, no agreement had been reached because: Azerbaijan would not deal fairly with Artsakh and Armenia.

    Some Armenians and others seem to think that all Armenians had to do was sign a piece of paper on the dotted line, and Armenians and Azeris would have lived happily ever after.

    How ridiculous is that?

  2. This thief, liar & mardaspan along with the other Karabgahtsi kocharyan spent over 25 years DOING ZERO. It is estimated over $3.5B of our nations funds were stolen by this man and his criminal associates including his brother. Their inner circle all became wealthy and have not hesitated to showcase their ill gotten wealth in Armenia and also USA & Europe.
    How is it that Kocharyans son can spend over $30 Million for property?? They raped our nation
    Just imagine if they had spent $2B on security & defense?
    This man should be hanged from the highest point in Yerevan by his crooked neck. As for Nikol, he is way over his head and a simpleton in diplomacy. We have no credible leaders that can lead. Our future lies in working with the diaspora, engaging them, giving every Armenian globally to secure a passport on line , charge them $500 each, and $500 every 5 years if living outside of Armenia
    We need the Israeli model to secure billions a year to develop our nation and armed forces, otherwise I fear we have another 50 years if not less before the wolves at our doors get in.

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