Expert: Armenian political elite will face hard times

Photo: Expert: Armenian political elite will face hard times / Politics

Azerbaijan , Baku, March 2 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /

The ongoing protests could escalate into something more serious for purely political reasons given the mentality and political culture of Armenian society, Chief Editor of the Russian analytical agency Vestnik Kavkaza and Moscow State University History Department Deputy Dean, Trend Expert Council member, Alexei Vlasov, believes.

"The current events in Armenia suggest that being determines consciousness and the unresolved complex social problems as a "sword of Damocles" is hanging over the current leadership of Armenia ," Vlasov told Trend from Moscow.

The Armenian National Congress organized a rally in Yerevan on March 1, Armenia Today reported.

According to estimates of the opposition, the rally was attended by over 50,000 citizens. The Armenian National Congress will hold its next rally on March 17.

Vlasov said the space for the socio-economic sphere is quite limited, especially if the predictions that in late 2011 the world awaits a new wave of crisis come true. Armenia's economy is very dependent on external factors and risks are very high, he said.

"Everything now will depend on the ability to negotiate with the most authoritative and influential opposition leaders, but it seems that this way is not used by the authorities of Armenia, since the possibility of a consensus lack is fact," Vlasov said.

Events in Armenia are partly in response to the infamous ratings that the American edition publishes giving a risk assessment of new social unrest, such as those that rocked the Middle East, Vlasov said.

"Armenia is not in the first place there, but, in fact, just this republic in the South Caucasus is facing major processes associated with the mass protests against social and economic policy pursued by the Armenian leadership," he said.

Armenian political elite, he said, will face hard times, and this will affect the South Caucasus region as a whole.

Moreover, the events in Armenia can affect the resolution of an important issue for the region such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, since it is always easier to negotiate with a stable government, Vlasov said.

"I do not judge how fast will happen replacement of one part of the Armenian political elite to the other in case of force majeure. Armenia is not Egypt, Algeria or Tunisia, and the country has the residual effects of the post-Soviet past, and this process can take a long time," he said.

In addition, if the opposition comes to power it is unlikely to take a more conciliatory stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, than the current government.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.

The Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the core themes of ideological consolidation of the Armenian society, including youth. In the case of change of power, new leaders will hardly rush to change the direction and the vectors of development, he said.

Perhaps, he said, it will happen eventually, but changing positions may take several years.

"But I do not think that such a force majeure scenario with the change of power is real for today," he said.

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