Alernative лого
Start лого
South Caucasus
Georgi Vanyan, interview


Interview with chairman of CCPMI Georgi Vanyan

How do you comment on Turkey-Armenia agreement to start talks to establish diplomatic ties?

Russian-Georgian war and its irreversible consequences offered new condition in geo-political developments at the regional level. Armenian-Turkish dialogue, which today claims to establish diplomatic relations, is dictated exactly under these same circumstances.

Unfortunately, Armenia's dialogue with neighbors is initiated with an element of dictation, and much more risks and obstacles are involved with this process than it would have involved in case of a recognized need to establish good relations were basis for negotiations.

But in this situation, this process can still be an occasion, a chance, which could turn into a real opportunity for Armenia 21 year later to reconsider its relations with neighbors. I want to believe in it, despite the fact that the start seems very cautious and very shy. Such caution and timidity is understandable and justifiable phenomenon in the pool of Armenian pseudo-patriotism. We isolated ourselves from the outside world ot only by our imposed and vulnerable past and invented mission of world-chosen nation, but also we have lost all sense of reality, pulse of life, pulse of development and hopelessly it seems we have irrevocably lost point of contact with the future.

I believe that Serzh Sarsyan would be able to correct errors made by the Armenian leadership, he will do what Levon Ter-Petrosyan could have done and was obliged to do and what Robert Kocharian did not and could not have done. Now half a step has been taken in this direction, cautious half-step, which may be important for citizens of Armenia and future of the Republic of Armenia.

Will Armenian president make a trip to Turkey to watch a return match under current circumstances?

Instead of being carried away by divination, which is the main engine of our vanity, which is called politics, I can only express my desire: to see the president of Armenia seated next to the president of Turkey at a football match, to see this signal of a possible partnership and good neighborly relations, which can restore the faith of Armenian citizens in future, which may encourage Armenian community in Turkey, which may in some way rehabilitate the dignity of about 100,000 Armenian citizens illegally living and working in Turkey.

Will the Turkey-Armenia border reopen this year?

Turkish-Armenian border was closed because of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories. Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory continues.

If the border is reopened finally, what positive and negative consequences it will have for Armenia?

Ironically, harmful effects of opening of borders have been and remain a priority in discussions in Armenia. The subject of conversation such as negative effects of life under conditions of open borders, unfortunately, are quite normal and natural for the state in which we live.

How can one discuss consequences of opening the border? Proclaiming oneself part of a globalized and rapidly changing world at every suitable case, we continue to live in a nightmare of closed borders, in a nightmare of a closed society which constantly recreates itself and rejects future.

At the same time positive result of opening of the border is maintained at the level of desires of Armenian citizens. That desire is bypassed, is not stated publicly and does not appear in the social field, because society continues to adapt to the load of speculated past. In captivity of this gravity and a prisoner of pseudo-moral pressure and confusion, it seems that Armenia has lost ability of a simple arithmetic calculation of cause-effect junctions, not only in terms of establishing relations with Turkey, but also in all political processes.

As you know, two co-chairs the OSCE Minsk Group will be replaced this year. Will any significant decisions be adopted by new co-chairs? Will they be able to move the negotiations another step forward?

Has there been any episode so far that can be called a step forward in negotiations? Since the signing of the ceasefire agreement, is there any processes in the Armenian-Azerbaijani format, but fruitless seminars?

Was our conversation with each other transformed over the 21 years and following ceasefire agreement? Were the relationships filled with new content? Did we shift to a language of peace? If we have adapted themselves to the condition of ‘no war, no peace’, what can we demand from mediators? Why did not the mediators do and what they can do?

It is high time to abandon illusion that one day persistent and consistent intermediaries would achieve reconciliation between the two neighbors and borders and roads will open on which people forced out by the conflict will return back again into the arms of neighborhood, isn’t it?

Is Nagorno-Karabakh conflict likely to be resolved this year?

Prospects for the settlement of the conflict is our need to live in peace embodied in the political agenda. Prospects for settlement of the conflict is set by not diplomacy diplomacy and not principles designed on paper. Perspectives are a concrete action which is not in place yet. Is it real to overthrow the dictatorship of a Kalashnikov this year? I do not know.

Kama Mamedova