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Political emptiness pushes Pashinyan to political shows

January 09 2024, 14:30

The New Year in Armenia has started very vigorously: “protests” inspired by the authorities took place in Holy Etchmiadzin with outright attempts to oust Catholicos Karekin II, political attacks on the heads of local bodies of Syunik, and, of course, political shows organized by Nikol Pashinyan in the best traditions of the famous Russian expression “good tsar, bad boyars”.

Nikol Pashinyan started the year by visiting the regions of Armenia (Lori and Armavir), where, among other things, he checked the renovation work in educational institutions as well as the quality of garbage cans. Pashinyan’s visits led to the dismissals of the head of the Urban Development Committee, Armen Ghularyan, and the governor of Lori, Aram Khachatryan. However, the point is that Pashinyan was dissatisfied with the quality of the renovation works; in particular, he did not like the hangers and shower cabins in the regional educational institutions.

At the same time, it should be noted that today in Armenia there are a number of bodies that were supposed to control these repairs, from the Anti-Corruption Committee and the Urban Development Committee to the Control Chamber and the State Supervision Service. In addition, each regional administration also has its own supervisory service. On top of that, each ministry (and in this case the supervision should have been carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science) also has internal control structures.

And if Nikol Pashinyan has to travel around the regions on his own and check repairs in schools and other institutions, then this only means that, as head of state, he failed to build an effective power vertical that can implement the program from the planning stage to bringing it to the required quality.

Moreover, in this case, we are not even talking about, for example, high-tech production of complex UAVs but about simple repairs. Given this kind of efficiency of government structures, it is clear that from the very beginning in 2020, we could not count on any other outcome of the war…

This is a crucial note amid Turkiye and Azerbaijan’s signals in the first days of 2024.

First, the Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Azerbaijan, Hikmet Hajiyev, said that Azerbaijan was ready to consider transport corridor models to Nakhichevan like the Kaliningrad one, thereby repeating the demand of Ilham Aliyev, voiced at the end of 2023, that Armenia should build a corridor to Nakhichevan at its own expense, a corridor with no customs inspection of Azerbaijani goods and passengers.

This, in turn, means that the myth perpetuated by Pashinyan that “by surrendering Karabakh, we will open the borders with our neighbors, and Turkish and Azerbaijani dollars will flow into our economy” has been busted, with Azerbaijan and Turkiye not intending to pay Armenia.

Later, Turkish Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Abdulkadir Uraloglu said that in general, the entire process of creating the Zangezur corridor would take five years, and all work around it would have been completed by 2028. Note that it will be in 2028, which once again confirms that Pashinyan’s thesis about “rapid economic growth” promised back in 2018 was yet another empty manipulation.