Episode 275 | Recorded: August 22, 2023
There are still many unanswered questions regarding the UNSC meeting this past week, where the Artsakh issue was discussed.
The UNSC discussed the situation in Artsakh, and there were many statements of support for reopening the Lachin-Berdzor corridor and demands that Azerbaijan should lift the blockade on Artsakh from UNSC members. None of that has happened, and Azerbaijan didn’t even bother to send its foreign minister to the meeting.
However, the US invited Turkey to attend the meeting, and of course Turkey gave full support to the Azeri stance.
Some countries expressed surprising positions. For instance, Brazil used the term “Khankendi”. Pro-western analysts praised the US position as “good” and decried Russia’s position which again seemed to suggest to use the Aghdam road. France, as expected, had the most pro-Armenian speech.
On the heels of this meeting, Armenia immediately announced that the next round of negotiations with Azerbaijan will be held in September. Interestingly, according to our regular guest Sergei Melkonian, Armenia has asked Iran to not get in the way of Pashinyan’s “peace agenda”. Everyone knows that Iran has a clearly defined redline about changing its border with Armenia: that is a no go.
There are signs of internal trouble in Artsakh, of a potential coup attempt in Artsakh. It all initially was externalized by Ruben Vardanyan through a video address on Saturday.
Since the start of 2023 Arayik Harutyunyan has disseminated rumors of his resignation as president of Artsakh. In the months following Ruben Vardanyan’s forced resignation as state minister of Artsakh, Harutyunyan even spearheaded a constitutional amendment to allow the Artsakh Parliament to elect, or select, a president under conditions of martial law. But he has not resigned yet.
The militia that raided and threatened politicians in Stepanakert has also claimed that Arayik Harutyunyan is not guilty of losing the 44-day war, but rather that guilt falls upon former presidents Bako Sahakyan and Arkady Ghukasyan. This is completely in line with the current Armenian regime’s whitewashing of its history to blame former administrations for its own failures.
Tomorrow is the 32nd anniversary of the declaration of independence of Armenia.
The Yerevan mayoral elections will be held on September 17. Campaigning will start tomorrow, August 23. There hasn’t been much said and done about the upcoming campaigns in the past week, and last week we talked about the major participants a little bit.
Alright, let’s wrap up our topics here. I’d like to ask each of you if there’s been something on your mind this past week that you want to talk about.
Alright, we’ll leave it there for today! Thank you everyone!
We hope you found our Week in Review helpful. We invite your feedback and your suggestions, you can find us on most social media and podcast platforms. Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts.
Tevan Poghosyan is president of the International Center for Human Development. Mr. Poghosyan was an MP in the National Assembly between 2012 and 2017 from the Heritage party. From 1997 to 1999 he served as the Nagorno-Karabakh Public Affairs Office Director in Washington, D.C.
Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.
Asbed is founder of Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.