Ashot Manucharyan: "Armenian authorities look like children in their immaturity"

Susanna Petrosyan, Yerevan. Exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza
Ashot Manucharyan: "Armenian authorities look like children in their immaturity"

Quite a political season in Armenia was disrupted by the armed group 'Daredevils of Sassoun'. The former chief presidential adviser of Armenia on national security (from 1991 to 1993), Ashot Manucharyan, answered Vestnik Kavkaza's questions about the public attitude to these events and the role of the Karabakh problem in the actions of this group.

- There are many contradictory assessments of the actions of the 'Daredevils of Sassoun' today. Some call them terrorists, others call them heroes. What is your assessment?

- People often create stereotypes, they become hostages of these very stereotypes. 'Sasna Tsrer' are not terrorists and not heroes. They are citizens who saw that their country is being destroyed, and that all attempts at stopping this process are unsuccessful. The expectations that the situation will be fixed by the rulers and politicians were wrong too.

The July events in Yerevan were resolved only on a local scale. The question raised by 'Sasna Tsrer' was not their question, but the question of all the people who believe that it cannot continue any longer.

These people made a step that requires self-sacrifice. I'm sure none of them wanted to be ministers or president, none of them did it for the money. Our so-called elite professes "values", which I have listed.

'Sasna Tsrer' were absolutely sincere, and even if they made mistakes, or their actions were simply wrong, the authorities should be blamed for that.

- There were many participants of the Karabakh war among the members of this group. What role did this play in the actions of 'Sasna Tsrer'?

- The settlement of this conflict is very important. Unfortunately, the authorities, who are ready to make all sorts of deals for the sake of money, failed this political process. The authorities chose such pointless options as Minsk and Meghri.

In the early 1990s Armenia had its own vision of building a just world, building ties in the region and establishing normal relations with its neighbors.

The world's strongest forbade this. It was possible to develop our own new approaches, but we follow the laws of today's predatory and corrupt world, preaching thievery and greed. Even though we have enough potential to abandon these commandments.

I want to understand what the difference between our oligarchs, an official and a child is? A child collects labels, and our oligarchs and president collect money and gold. They are similar in their immaturity. But authority is a dangerous child, because it is ready to shoot, beat and arrest for the sake of wealth. This greed makes it vulnerable to the world's strongest, who dictate the formula of the Karabakh conflict settlement.

- Some observers have accused people of being passive ...

- Society's wariness, associated with the presence of the Karabakh problem, played its role here. This balanced approach to the situation may be associated with an understanding of developments in the world, such as the attempted coup in neighboring Turkey. As someone who dealt with security issues, I can say that there were 10 times more representatives of foreign special services in Yerevan during the events of July. Why? Because there are technologies that can transform such events into chaos, as happened in Ukraine, where chaos erupted after the change of the authorities.

- Can developments in the country weaken Armenia's position in the Karabakh conflict settlement?

- First of all, those events have changed the internal political agenda. The ruling Republican Party committed a crime when it offered a false agenda in the form of a new Electoral Code. Meanwhile, the country has plenty of unresolved problems. Even the April war, which actually should have sobered us all, did not have such consequences. From this point of view, 'Sasna Tsrer' managed to change the country's agenda, highlighting the depth and complexity of the current situation. These events may become a major reason to change everything and turn the country into what we wanted to see in 1988.