Hello, and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, Week in Review. I’m Asbed Bedrossian. This show was recorded on Sunday, February 20, 2022.
Here are our topics this week:
● Ukraine: Biden’s Tunnel of Crisis
● Azeri Commission to Destroy Armenian Heritage
● Artsakh Law on Occupied Territories
● Azerbaijan Wants to Arrest Artsakh President
● IRI Poll Results Revisited
Because today we have with us:
Hrant Mikaelian, a political scientist and multidisciplinary researcher in social sciences based in Yerevan. He is also a senior researcher at the Caucasus Institute.
Let’s talk about world affairs for a minute. The Ukraine Crisis has been escalating madly recently, with Biden saying 2 days ago that he’s convinced that Putin is driving for an invasion of Ukraine.
At this point this is a real crisis because two major nuclear powers are painting themselves in a corner, from where it’s going to be hard to save face. What’s the state of this crisis overall?
Earlier in the week, Azerbaijan’s minister of culture Anar Karimov announced that he has set up a commission to plan the erasure of Armenian culture from Azerbaijan’s territory. They’ve also started systematically advancing this fake propaganda that Armenian churches are actually misappropriated Udi-Albanian apostolic churches.
Armenia’s MFA, and the Ombudsman offices have reacted to these dangerous statements, which seem to clear a path for the destruction of Armenian heritage in Azerbaijan. What are your thoughts about this?
Internationally, Baroness Cox has also sounded the alarm about this issue in the UK, she’s calling it a War Crime, and many US congressmen have expressed their solidarity with Artsakh just this past week.
How is Armenia going to ensure that our heritage and cultural monuments are not destroyed, when seemingly all we have is world sympathy and feelings of solidarity?
In the past week Artsakh’s parliament passed an important bill that it says is in response to the Shushi Declaration, which Azerbaijan and Turkey signed in June 2021. This new law deals with a couple of important issues regarding the Occupied Territories: One is about restoring the territorial integrity of the Artsakh Republic; the second is about companies and their countries that do business in its occupied territories.
Only 2 days ago we talked with Edmon Marukyan about this topic. He feels this new law has no more than symbolic value, is detached from reality, and inconsequential.
● What do you think about this new law?
● How can Armenia defend Artsakh given the current situation, and going forward?
Early in the week Azerbaijan’s minister of justice “vowed” to arrest Arayik Harutyunyan, the president of Artsakh. Artsakh’s MFA called this part of Azerbaijan’s terroristic approach to relations with Armenians, while Armenia’s minister of justice Karen Andreasyan called the Azeri claim devoid of any legal merit.
Is this all a power play, a performance, by the Azeri government? Or do Artsakh and Armenia have to take these threats seriously?
Is Arayik Harutyunyan’s life at constant and real risk here?
As we haven’t talked to Hrant Mikaelian since before the IRI Poll results were released, we return to get his take on some of the results, and more.
Only 34% believe the country is going in the right direction, down from 41% in July 2021. Who are Pashinyan’s demographic supporters? How has the demographic changed since 2018? Why?
As we noted earlier in the month, the overwhelming majority in Armenia see Turkey and Azerbaijan (88% and 81%) as the top security threats to Armenia. All other countries are comparatively negligible.
Only 5% and 4% respectively think that relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan need to be improved. The list of countries with which relations should be improved is topped by Russia, USA, Iran, France, and China (in that order) which are also countries with which Armenia either allegedly is, or should be, “strategic partners”.
That was our Week in Review show, and we hope it helped you catch up with some of the issues in and around Armenia from this past week. As always, we invite your feedback and your suggestions. You can find us on most social media and podcast platforms, or our website Groong.org.
Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on YouTube, Like our pages and follow us on social media. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week, thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.
Hrant Mikaelian, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh, Nakhichevan, Khachkars, Cross Stones, Destruction of Monuments, Destruction of Heritage, Destruction of Culture, Turkey, Russia, Military reform, United States, EU, European Union, Petroleum Economy, Energy Economy, CERD, Destruction of Churches, Albanian, Udi, Udi-Albanian, IRI, IRI Poll, International Republican Institute, Kadir Has University, Mustafa Aydin,