Game of Thrones in Armenia: The Fire Beneath the Ashes


The opposition “Hayastan” (Armenia) bloc, led by former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, held a rally under the slogan “Resist” in Yerevan’s Freedom Square. As the issues set out in the Tripartite Declaration are implemented, the opposition forces in Armenia try to put more pressure on the government.

It is no coincidence that the Armenian opposition planned the rally for November 8. Following the end of the Second Karabakh War on November 8, 2020, a tripartite agreement was signed by the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and the Prime Minister of Armenia on November 10. This agreement went down in history as an act of capitulation. Despite Pashinyan’s defeat in the war, Armenian society does not support the forces represented by Kocharyan. There is a political crisis in the country and this process still continues. The opposition blames the government for the defeat in the war. Bloc leaders announced the launch of a nationwide resistance movement to remove Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his Civil Contract party from power.

It should be noted that the radical opposition, which has been taking a break from the rallies for a long time, resumed the new rallies this week, which raises some questions. Because Russian and Armenian media reported that new documents would be signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the delimitation and demarcation of the state border, as well as the opening of regional communications.

Aliyev, Putin and Pashinyan were expected to meet by video conference this week. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s statement gives grounds to say that Armenia generally avoided the meeting. Dmitry Peskov said that “the date of the trilateral meeting has not been determined yet, and there is no concrete concept at the moment.” Peskov’s correction of the previous statement means that the meeting is on the agenda, but Armenia does not agree.

The trilateral meeting has two agendas: opening of communication and discussion of border delimitation; it is possible to approve the schedule of the opening of communications and to agree on the basis of which maps the delimitation of the border will be carried out;

Yerevan is not against the opening of communication, and Pashinyan confirmed it in a recent interview. The unresolved issue is related to the border.

Pashinyan’s decision to send the Defense minister to Karabakh, who did not agree to a tripartite meeting, can also be considered a move to achieve Yerevan’s wish, and there are two goals here:

The first is undermining the existing stability achieved through Russia: it is sending a message to Moscow to secure its interests at the tripartite table.

Second, Pashinyan tries to keep the border issue on the agenda. Pashinyan said that “the border, communication and the Karabakh issue are separate issues” and actualizes the “Karabakh claim” as a separate direction when the border issue is on the agenda.

Although Pashinyan tries to hide these talks and decisions from the opposition as much as possible, the rally of Kocharyan and his supporters gives grounds to say that a “spark” is needed to turn the internal political struggle into a civil conflict. Armenian media published articles about different expectations from this action. Some believe this rally will be the beginning of a change of government. Others understand that with a rally there will be no change of government. It is thought that if the former president does not succeed, his supporters will dwindle and he will have to leave the political arena.


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