"What kind of threats did Mr. Hoagland warn Mr. Pashinyan about?

27-02-2019 05:20:30   | Armenia  |  Articles and Analyses
By Hovsep Khurshudyan

The interview of Richard Hoagland, an accomplished diplomat and former United States co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, to the ''Voice of America'' US State Radio Station  was recorded and disseminated by the Armenian Mass Media outlets failing to reveal the central ideas and messages. 
To read between the lines with intention to decipher the diplomats' ideas is more challenging than processing regular political texts uttered in plain, non-diplomatic language. Those ideas are generally veiled with non-essential and generic phrases. That is why during the process of deciphering diplomats' texts it is very important to put aside the emotions and take heed of new uncommon thesis, which contains the central message. The highlight of Hoagland's interview was not handing over the liberated territories of Artsakh to Azerbaijan. This thesis was described in negotiated documents. Even former Armenian authorities overtly talked about it. Richard Hoagland expressed novel ideas that were unheard of and alarming but on the other hand some ideas infused hope.
Message number 1.
“There may not overlook very important circumstance. After so many years this is the first time that the Armenian leader has no Kharabakhi roots. Given this fact, he must be very cautious and if he plans to implement significant changes, they should be executed step by step as on the opposite side there are people  who are against him and will fight him if he undertakes quick and radical measures. I think vigilant, step-by-step manner of advancement is a smart politics. In case of applying step-by-step politics you can send different signs.”  
What means Mr. Hoagland by this? What kind of threats did Mr. Hoagland warn Mr. Pashinyan about? When “many years ago” last time the leaders of Armenia have had no Kharabakhi roots? Yes, at 1999, when Vazgen Sargsyan and Karen Demirchyan had become leaders of Armenia. And what happened after? “On the opposite side there are people who are against him and will fight him if he undertakes quick and radical measures” said Mr. Hoagland. His hints are so explicit going beyond the scope of diplomatic language. No coincidence, that retired diplomat was selected to spread this message. Who are on the opposite side of Nicole Pashinyan -  Robert Kocharyan, Serge Sargsyan with their clans
and loyal oligarchs. Who were on the opposite side of Vazgen Sargsyan and Karen Demirchyan? The same forces.  
There were times when Vano Siradegyan was warning Vazgen Sargsyan about the threats of physical reprisal. Vazgen Sargsyan's wings were clipped when Vahram Khorkhoruni and Artsrun Margaryan were assassinated. But even in that case, Vazgen's physical extermination was not so easy as his legitimacy was shared by another powerful politician Karen Demirchyan as well as such experienced and renowned politicians as Yuri Bachshyan, Leonard Petrosyan and Armenak Armenakyan.  
That is why the perpetrators of the October 27 parliaments shooting had to lay down an extremely complex terrorist operation. Who shares the legitimacy with Nikol Pashinyan now?
Vazgen Sargysan made some erroneous decisions but, nevertheless he was a brave and strong politician. Because of this he surrounded himself with strong and experienced politicians. Without a doubt, Nikol Pashinyan is fearless himself, but where is the courageous/experienced team around him. The team, which should have been as powerful, that the elimination on Nikol Pashinyan from political area would be not only meaningless for his and people's enemies but also dangerous. Where are those 2-3 politicians, because of whom Prime Minister would been as a 'less dangerous'' in the eyes of his enemies, than the political who will occupy his seat if he desapear from political arena. 
Message 2.
Indicating the above-mentioned danger on Levon Ter-Pertosyan's example (putting Vazgen Sargsyan and Karen Demirchyan in the same context would be too much), Hogland advises Nikol not rush when making decision about Artsakh. But you, honorable journalists, in order to create a sensation, put 'the issue of hand over the territories'' in the very titles of your articles. The more, after mentioning this thesis Mr. Hogland rushes to clarify that "this is only my opinion."  This view does not coincide with the position of official Washington. This man is conveying an open message to Washington saying that the United States is not interested in the quick settlement of the Karabakh issue at this stage. The reason for this he clarifies in other paragraph saying that the only settlement plan for the time being on the table is ''Lavrov's plan'', which does not satisfy both sides, because, ATTENTION, "At the moment neither party has accepted this settlement because the deadline for the referendum is not set." Have we heard the truth? In other words, Baku also strives to know the exact date of the referendum. Hoagland reaffirms: "Right now, Yerevan and Baku want to set definite date of referendum." This is a serious and radical change that publicizes the former American co-chair.
Why else Washington does not want the settlement of the Karabakh issue in accordance with Moscow's scenario? "There are people with whom I have spoken and who are well-informed on this issue and who are pessimistic and doubt that the Kremlin will actually grant permission for the settlement of this problem. You should look at other conflicts in the region, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia,
and now in Ukraine. Some believe that the Kremlin does not want these conflicts to be resolved, because if they are settled, he will lose his influence. For Kremlin the influence is the most cherished value." Well, Washington does not trust the Kremlin, it's no secret. But if Washington is against a quick solution to the Lavrov scenario, what should be understood under the "step by step"? "... The sides can remove the military from the contact line, replacing them with border guards. It will also be a positive development. Look, this is also the means of building the same step-by-step confidence building mechanism''.
Message N3. Washington does not consider the deployment of peacekeepers for the near future. 
"... If we look at the other frozen conflicts in the region, in particular South Ossetia, where the EU has provided observer groups and Russia has granted permission to them to act does not mean it's bringing the conflict settlement closer. ... The issue of peacekeepers is a matter of distant future, it is not relevant today. I do not think this question worries anyone." By saying anyone he clearly implies to the US. We know well that it is Russia, who concerned about this issue. Russia wants to introduce its or "CSTO" peacekeeping troops in Artsakh. It is not a secret for anyone. And this is probably one of the risks of Lavrov's plan, which, even if not enshrined in the document, probably, assumes the possibility of the Kremlin-led troops deployment in Artsakh which is alarming for Washington. 
Once Lavrov's plan was prevented by Sasna Tsrer. As a result, in order to strengthen its position in Armenia, Russia sent a potential heir to Armenia in the form of Karen Karapetyan. The operation "Karen Karapetyan" also failed because of the Velvet people's revolution. Now, it is Nikol Pashinyan's turn to slow down and resist the plan of the "normalization" process, which in reality should be called "lavrov's trap," with re-centered on confidence-building measures agreed in Vienna in 2016, as a "small steps". It seems, that, Washington offers its support in the realization of those steps. 
And most importantly, the Prime Minister should take political steps to ensure his own security.
  -   Articles and Analyses
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