Staunton, March 13 – In an interview with Russia’s Regnum news agency, Armenian opposition deputy Naira Zohrabyan says that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s team believes that Russia will “fall to pieces tomorrow or the next day” and that Yerevan must turn away from Moscow and toward the West.
According to her, Pashinyan’s declaration of the shortcomings of Russian Iskander missiles was not a slip but “an SOS to the West” for help so that Armenia can “distance itself from Moscow” and become an outpost of Western influence in the Caucasus working against Russia (regnum.ru/news/polit/3213809.html).
No one should forget that Pashinyan was the one who proposed that Armenia leave the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Community, Zohrabyan says. “He was an remains attached to such views. Having become prime minister, he hasn’t changed them but only changed his rhetoric.”
According to the opposition deputy who wants Pashinyan replaced by parliamentary means, Armenia has no choice but to continue to rely on Russia; and her words about the Armenian prime minister will only encourage those in Moscow who want to see him pushed out act sooner rather than later.
She argues that Armenia has no choice but to rely on Russia in order to prevent Azerbaijan and Turkey from ignoring Moscow and modifying the November and January declarations relative to the “’Zengezur corridor.’” Were that to happen, Zohrabyan says, it would be an existential disaster for Armenia.
Pashinyan has been able to maintain himself by “putting the statehood of Armenia at mortal risk” given that its political immunity has fallen to almost nothing: it has lost a war, its economy is collapsing, and its military command is suffering many problems as well, the deputy continues.
But the situation could grow even worse under two circumstances: if Pashinyan remains in power or if he is ousted in an unconstitutional way. In the latter case, the situation could deteriorate to the point that Armenia might not be able to recover as a state. Achieving his departure constitutionally won’t be easy, but it is the only positive way forward.
The opposition agrees he must go, although it is not united either on how or on what should happen next. Those who call for cooperation with Russia like herself are now being accused of being “Kremlin agents.” But Armenia in its current situation has no choice, and she says she will continue to work for expanded cooperation with Moscow.