Dziunik Aghajanian - Tavush Demarcation and Delimitation | Bagrat Srbazan Heads to Yerevan | Hungary Blocks EU Aid to Armenia | Ep 328 - May 5, 2024 [EP328]

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 | Category: Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Borders | Series: wir



  • Tavush Demarcation and Delimitation
  • Bagrat Srbazan Coming to Yerevan
  • Hungary Blocks EU Aid to Armenia

Episode 328 | Recorded: May 5, 2024

Show Notes


Armenia Continues One-Sided Demarcation Under Duress

For the past week and a half there’s been a process of installing border posts in Tavush which Pashinyan’s government is calling “border delimitation and demarcation”. Every couple of days government-controlled media were counting up the post installations as a show of a great achievement.

Pashinyan propaganda is presenting this as a success in negotiations. Pashinyan says that there is some sort of an undisclosed agreement between the two countries. Opposition meanwhile says that a premature, piecemeal delimitation of the segments of the border that would hurt Armenia the most, is a testament to Armenia’s fully succumbing to Azerbaijani demands and strategy, backed by the threat of military force. In fact, Aliyev gloated that it was his idea to start delimitation/demarcation in Tavush.

Meanwhile, many Western countries congratulated Armenia’s decision to give up lands for alleged peace. Congratulations came from all corners of the West, including the United States, the head of the EU itself. Erdogan congratulated Pashinyan. Even Cyprus congratulated this obvious high stakes threat-laden bargain.

Most of the work seems to be already done, and May 15 is the date after which the border will be considered delimited and demarcated.

** Questions:**

  • Can the current process truly be called “border delimitation and demarcation”?
  • What’s wrong with delimiting based on Alma-Ata?
  • Why is the government hiding the output of the delimitation/demarcation work done during the 1980s?

Azerbaijan has invaded and currently occupies Armenian territory. They’ve made no reciprocal moves to vacate occupied Armenian territory, and they haven’t even made promises that they will.

While Pashinyan claims the process is giving Armenia “legitimacy”, even traditional pro-Pashinyan civic groups have started denouncing these unilateral concessions as unconstitutional and dangerous to national security.


  • What is this “legitimacy” that Pashinyan is talking about?

Azerbaijan has lined up its upcoming demands: changes to the Armenian constitution, national symbols, emblems, coats of arms, etc.


  • Why doesn’t the Armenian government respond to Azerbaijani demands to change the constitution, and national symbols?
  • What is coming next?

With absolutely no leg to stand on, Pashinyan has implicitly agreed to Aliyev’s demands to continue talks bilaterally and without mediators.


  • Why did Pashinyan eschew any mediation and instead went for direct bilateral negotiations?
  • Did Russia and/or Iran congratulate the “deal”?

We are talking with Ms. Dziunik Aghajanian, formerly of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Let’s now move to …

Bagrat Srbazan Coming to Yerevan

The unrest in Tavush has spread, there are continuing anti-government demonstrations and civil unrest by the local population, against conceding their homes and villages to the enemy. They hold continuing vigils throughout the province. The government has dispatched increased police to Tavush, and has arrested and beaten dozens of protesters.

A key figure in the protests has been Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, leader of the diocese of Tavush.


  • Who is Bagrat Srbazan?
    • Ask Dziunik and Hovik can fill in.
  • Government-controlled media and personalities have tried to portray Bagrat Srpazan’s followers and movements as “pro-Russians”. Is there any truth to this? Who are the political forces supporting Bagrat Srbazan?
  • Another key propaganda that Pashinyan media is spreading is that there should be strict separation of church and state. Is that a valid argument in times like this?

Fr. Bagrat is planning to take the protests to Yerevan. There is widespread understanding that Armenia’s problems can not be fixed in Tavush, because the culprits, meaning the government, is in Yerevan.


  • What’s Fr. Bagrat’s strategy? Is there a plan for when they get to Yerevan?
  • Is the parliamentary opposition on board and participating?

Hungary Blocks EU Support for Armenia

After months of deliberations the EU states had finally agreed to provide aid to Armenia to support its resilience, specifically from its European Peace Fund. This fund is used to support cases like Ukraine and Moldova. But Hungary blocked the provision of this aid.

Without rehashing a lot of history, let’s remember that after the brutal ax murder of Gurgen Mragaryan during a military training conference in Hungary, his murderer Ramil Safarov was convicted and jailed, but 8 years later Hungary released him to Azerbaijan, and Aliyev turned him into a national hero. Armenia broke off ties with Hungary until recently when Pashinyan dishonorably re-established ties.


  • After the reestablishment of ties, how could Hungary play such favorites, especially given the positive disposition of the other 27 states of the EU? Is this a failure of Armenian diplomacy?
  • If Victor Orban continues to be in Aliyev’s pocket, can Armenia expect any real assistance from the EU, which is set up to require unanimous agreement of its 28 states for just about everything?
  • Is this bureaucracy one of the ways that the EU promises things to countries like Armenia, but later on does not come through?
    • I mean: is this a planned, or built-in, “failure” within the system?
  • How should Armenia continue relations with Hungary?


That’s our Week in Review, we hope you found it 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.


Dziunik Aghajanian

Dziunik Aghajanian

Ms. Dziunik Aghajanian has served Armenia through the ranks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and most recently as a diplomat, as Armenia’s Ambassador to such countries as the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Indonesia. She received her education at Yerevan State University, Columbia University in NY, and Uppsala University in Sweden.


Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan

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.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Hovik Manucharyan on the ANN/Groong podcast are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of his employer or any other organization.

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.

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