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One of protesters on Baghramyan Avenue sets himself to fire

Police cordon off Baghramyan Avenue, as protesters approach

Founding Parliament initiative to President Sargsyan: “Leave, otherwise you will face Ceausescu’s fate”

Demonstrators marching from Liberty Sqaure towards Republic Square

European Union concerned over latest developments in Yerevan

Activist Andrias Ghukasyan severely beaten up in detention facility

Richard Mills warns that Armenian law-enforcement officials responsible for human rights abuses could be sanctioned by the U.S. government

Albert Baghdasaryan: There is information that law enforcers have launched operation for neutralizing Daredevils of Sasoun

Sefilyan urged Armenian nation to become a human shield between police and territory of seized Police Station

Gunshots are heard and impact munitions used near seized Police station

Political forces of Armenia keep condemning last night's events, while Republican Party still silent

Police say police officer killed by sniper from area of seized police compound

Another member of Heritage Party Hovsep Khurshudyan detained

One of the medics held "hostage" by "Daredevils of Sasoun" group left the seized Police Patrol Service Regiment on July 29

U.S. Embassy urges Armenian government to take immediate steps to ensure violations of Armenians' constitutional and human rights do not recur

Armenian Police make statement: Leaders of protest action of July 29-30 resorted to sabotage and attacks

National Security Service of Armenia sets deadline for "Daredevils of Sasoun" to surrender: Otherwise they will be shooting at sight

More and more public and political organizations condemn past night's events in Yerevan

Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia initiates criminal case on fact of violence against journalists overnight into July 30 in Yerevan

Criminal charges brought against Heritage Party vice chairman Armen Martirosyan and activist Andrias Ghukasyan

EBRD to subscribe for 33,500,000 ordinary shares of Lydian International Limited at a price of C$11.39 Million

Jailed oppositionist Jirayr Sefilyan makes statement on recent events in Yerevan

Latest data from Healthcare Ministry: 73 people were hospitalized as a result of last night's events in Yerevan

Armenia's political forces and NGOs have already condemned last night's events in Yerevan

Armenia's Ombudsman: Police hinders detainees from meeting their lawyers

Deputy Chairman of Heritage Party Armen Martirosyan detained

Secretary General of CoE is concerned over events in Yerevan

According to Stratfor there is link between seizure of Police building in Armenia and negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh settlement

Soldier of NKR Defense Army wounded

Oxfam jointly with EDRC summed up monitoring results of social service for lonely elderly programs

US Embassy to Armenia calls for immediate, safe, and unconditional release of medical personnel

Situation in Yerevan is relatively calm after clashes overnight

Supporters of Daredevils of Sasoun marching from Liberty Square to Khorenatsi Street

Protest of supporters of Daredevils of Sasoun kicks off on Liberty Square

Healthcare Ministry: Doctors, who are on territory of seized building, applied first aid to injured Araik Khandoyan

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office: Police has detained activists Albert Baghdasaryan and Hasmik Yevoyan

Armenian Police: Wounded members of Daredevils of Sasoun Artur Melkonyan and Armen Lambaryan are hospitalized

Beeline and Classical Music Development Foundation sup up annual results of cooperation

Armenian NSS informs about detecting new supporters of "Daredevils of Sasoun" group

Armenian Police: Two other members of Daredevils of Sasoun are wounded in firefight on the territory of the seized building

"Oxfam" Office in Armenia revealed certain omissions in "In-home social services for lonely elderly" program

Armenia's Police: Firefighting occurred on territory of Police Patrol Service Regiment-Araik Khandoyan is wounded

Armenian Ombudsman urges state bodies and public figures to activate efforts for eliminating any forms of human rights violations

VTB Bank (Armenia) is the first on Armenian market to launch money transfers via TelCell system

Journalist Levon Barseghyan to be released

Son of Arshak Sadoyan, member of Public Council, arrested over violence against police officer

Lawyer: Health condition of wounded Pavel Manukyan deteriorates, as he refuses food and medicines

Avaz Hasanov: Karabakh conflict can be settled by common consent, if Russia is left out of it

Director of Emergency Aid CJSC says wounds of members of "Daredevils of Sasoun" in territory of seized police regiment not heavy

Family of Monte Melkonyan addresses Serzh Sargsyan over arrest of Alek Yenigomshyan

Regional

Zhirayr Sefilyan: The format of our relations with Russia needs revision

ArmInfo’s interview with Zhirayr Sefilyan, the coordinator of the action group of the Sardarapat movement and the Preparliament national-political initiative, hero of the Nagorno-Karabakh War

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Wednesday, June 11, 17:04

 Tension on the Karabakh-Azerbaijani border keeps growing since the beginning of the year. The latest ceasefire breaches in Yeraskh showed that surprises can be expected even from the border with Nakhijevan that was relatively peaceful even during the Karabakh war. What is the reason of the constantly growing tension on the border and on the Nakhijevani border, particularly?

 I have repeatedly said that in conditions of the current balance of power in the region, Azerbaijan is unable to unleash war independently.  However, if the balance of power is broken and in case of favorable conditions, Baku will undoubtedly try to not only seize Artsakh, but also go far beyond it. Firing from Nakhijevan, the enemy hints that in case of war, the military actions will go beyond the Karabakh-Azerbaijan border.  The entire Armenia will be involved into the military actions, including the Ararat Valley and Yerevan. In addition, over the last months, Iran has repeatedly come out for re-launching the communications via the territory of Nekhijevan. The given circumstance has become a reason for Azerbaijan to prevent that extremely favorable to Armenia process with destabilization of the situation.  Actually, as a result of another geopolitical disturbance in the region, the interests of the Russian imperial state and the Turkic expansionism have met again. The Russian-Turkic Eurasian project is also the result of that coincidence of interests, like the recent activation of Azeris on the border between Nakhijevan and Armenia.  It is not for the actions of a third power that we have faced distress again. It is our guilt. We failed to turn the national liberation movement launched in 1988 into a fight for establishment of a sovereign state. We failed to create a truly independent and sovereign country. In fact, Armenia has been colonized. That is why, it is high time to consolidate. Our goal must be to get rid of the incumbent authorities as soon as possible and establish our own will. Once we do it, nobody will any longer be able to involve us in any treacherous projects. And should we have to defend our independence and dignity with arms, we will do it. If we do this, we will become much stronger as we will have real allies.

 Russia’s Ambassador Ivan Volynkin has recently told journalists that the sale of TOS-1A heavy flamethrower systems and T-90 tanks to Azerbaijan was nothing but commerce. Won’t that commerce lead to a new war in Karabakh amid the  frequent deadly ceasefire breaches on the border?

 Russia has been losing the values and development objectives, in particular, the resource of the future at a fearful rate. And instead of ensuring its future through the local reformation, Russia has been trying to replenish this resource by taking it from the others.  The typical example of such a methodology is enhancing of the Turkish factor at the expense of Armenia so that to gain its support.  Among such steps we can also point at the delivery of comprehensive types of armament to Azerbaijan. Via such a delivery Moscow has been trying to simultaneously gain economical as well as geo-political preferences. This flirt that reminds us of the known events 100 years ago, is very much dangerous not only for Armenia but for Russia as well.

The ratio of the Russian and Turkish competitive factor, first of all the demographic one, has changed much not in favor of Russia. And this time, Russia will hardly digest consequences of this flirt. In such conditions the possibility of the new war should not be ruled out. If the war starts before we manage to overthrow this colonized regime in Armenia, we shall have a twice-hard work. In that case, we will have nothing to do but simultaneously neutralize the internal and external dangers. This implies the entire nation’s involvement in a large-scale liberation war. 

 Experts are seriously concerned over the high threat of the rapidly developing crisis in Ukraine to the U.S.-France-Russia cooperation over Karabakh conflict as part of the OSCE MG

 The crisis in Ukraine is now curbing Russia's imperial ambitions in the region. I think Russia and the West will fight for Ukraine and this fight will have a certain impact on the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.  I am not sure, however, if this can shatter the Minsk Group but I assume that this may happen if Russia allows Azerbaijan to start a new war.

 To substantiate Armenia’s involvement into the Kremlin-initiated Eurasian projects, the authorities of both Armenia and Russia highlight the security as the key factor. Will Armenia’s accession to the EAU give security guarantees to Armenia and Artsakh?

  These arguments are not only absurd, but also ‘suicidal’. The Eurasian project is contrary to the interests of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and cannot ensure their security. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh must not seek security at the expense of their sovereignty.

  Does Armenia need the presence of the Russian 102nd military base in the current geopolitical situation, when there are no foreign troops in Artsakh, particularly, on the border with Iran, which increases rather than reduces the security of NKR?

 In general, the availability of the troops of another even friendly state at the territory of any state shows the weakness of the latter. In the conditions of the "cold war" when Armenia was a part of the Soviet empire, the expediency of the Russian troops in Armenia was not discussed. After the USSR split, in the conditions when the parameters and balance of forces of the "cold war" and of the bipolar world was preserved, the availability of the Russian troops at the territory of Armenia was more of the inert nature. And instead of ticking over, we had to resolve a problem of the gradual way out from the situation.

At present Armenia faces an extremely changing situation. The world has become multi-polar, and a new strong pro-Armenian factor has been formed in the region - Iran. As a counter-balance to this, today Russia has been arming the enemy which intends to destruct Armenia, and has been absorbing sovereignty of the country. Just for this reason, the absence of foreign troops at the territory of Karabakh is favorable for its security.

 In such a condition, the format of our relations with Russia needs revision. They should be built on the principles of equality and mutual respect of interests. In particular, Russian frontier troops, as part of Russia's Federal Security Service, should be removed without any preconditions. As for the expediency of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia, it should be revised from the point of view of our own interests.

 Armenia’s leadership blindly follows all the ‘advices’ of Moscow and Washington.  At least, look at the Armenian-Turkish normalization and Armenia’s ‘aspirations’ for the Eurasian projects. What holds Armenia from demanding its ‘advisors’ to take immediately measures to calm down Aliyev’s trigger-happy policy in exchange for its services?

 The regime acting on our behalf has no will of their own, so, we cannot expect anything from it. What it can do is just to prolong its life for a little while at the expense of our national interests. So, our goal must be to get rid of it as soon as possible.

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