The Only Solution to Armenia’s Security Issue Is Its Sovereignty
‘The only solution to Armenia’s security issue is our sovereign state, national army and democratic governance system,’ noted ZaruhiPostanjyan, head of ‘Heritage’ parliamentary faction, at the Media Center hosted panel discussion entitled ‘Life after Vilnius: Challenges and Implicit Future Opportunities’.

 “Whoever your ally may be, you can’t have any security mechanism if you don`t have these three components. And to state that as part of the Customs Union we will have security is just ridiculous. Is security possible if you are humiliated?” stated Postanjyan. She added that Putin’s official visit on December 2 was offensive since  the Russian President  violated  the  ceremony rules  by first  visiting  the  military  base  in  Gyumri instead of the capital city of the country receiving the high-level guest.

AvetikIshkhanyan, Armenian Helsinki  Committee  Chairman,  is  sure  that  even  a small  and  weak  nation can  negotiate with  one  or  another country and show fangs. Ishkhanyan believes flattering is not diplomacy, moreover it is common to neglect the one flattering. In his observation, the Armenian authorities negotiated with Russia not for security, Karabakh, but for their power maintenance. 

“I  had  high  hopes that the  signing  of  the  Association  Agreement  would  be the  salvation.  The excitement I felt at Armenia’s access to the Council of Europe melted away. In any case, the Association Agreement could become a  lever,” stated Ishkhanyan.

ArturSakunts, head of Helsinki  Citizens` Assembly  Vanadzor  office  put  forward  three  issues  of  concern  to  civil society:firstly, to  inform  the Armenian public about  the  consequences  of  the Armenian  entry  into  the  Customs  Union and human rights issues in the CU member states;secondly,  to prove that the Republican Party of Armenia has illegally accumulated a similar  capital, which also serves its political  purposes; and lastly,   to make  efforts  to  resolve the  crime  which  took place on  March 1. 

 “The First of March is a crime against the Armenian citizens committed by the current government, with  the  direct  support of Putin whose emissaries provided expert support aimed at suppressing the Armenian citizens,” believes Sakunts. 

LevonBarseghyan, president  of “Asparez’’ journalists` club, considers  that Russia blackmailed SerzhSargsyan over Armenia’s joining the CU.  ‘Either you join the CU or you will be substituted in your country.’

Barseghyan  is  sure  that  Armenia’s joining  the  Custom  Union  contributes to  the  loss  of  sovereignty., thus, the political parties must consolidate to resolve the problem. ‘What should these political parties do if Armenia became a Russian region? Isn’t it easier to struggle now? Hating EU does not mean that they should not struggle for Armenia’s sovereignty.’

Larisa Minasyan, executive  director   of  “Open Society  Funds-Armenia”, believes  that joining  the Customs  Union  is  imposed on  Armenia as an alternative for  its existence: ‘With us you live, without us you die.’ According to Minasyan, the CU membership may be ‘reasoned’ by the fact that it is an economic union first of all. The CU state members may be more corrupt but we will possibly be granted with gas price reduction.' However, the Eurasian Union membership may cause more serious problems.

'Joining the Eurasian Union brings about changes regarding values which is a greater and more constant problem,' noted Larisa Minasyan.

StepanGrigoryan, director of Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, has not so far got  a  clear  answer  from  any  of  the  EU officials why  so much  attention  was  paid to  the Vilnius Summit. According to Grigoryan, once the Association Agreement was worked out, EU should have signed it with Armenia and Ukraine without waiting for the Vilnius Summit.

'While EU officials intended to take all the parties to Vilnius, the 'anti' powers started to work,' stated StepanGrigoryan. The panelist congratulated the Ukrainian nation on their struggle that comes to prove that it is not the authorities who decide everything.

On December 16, 2013 Partnership for Open Society initiated a public discussion entitled ‘Life after Vilnius: Challenges and Implicit Future Opportunities’. The panelists included Larisa Minasyan, executive director of “Open Society Funds-Armenia”; LevonBarseghyan, president of 'Asparez' Journalists' Club; ArturSakunts, head of Helsinki Citizens` Assembly Vanadzor Office; StepanGrigoryan, director of Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation; and AvetikIshkhanyan, Armenian Helsinki Committee Chairman.

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