By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The current political atmosphere in Armenia impedes the implementation of reforms in the country, head of Armenian public organization "Alternative Projects Group" Vahe Hovhannisyan said on February 5.
Hovhannisyan believes that today, Armenia is not ready for tomorrow's prospects and developments.
Comparing the country's path with Azerbaijan, Russia and Europe, he came to the conclusion that Armenia was not ready for the challenges of the future.
Describing the path of Azerbaijan, Hovhannisyan noted that reforms and profound changes are taking place in this country.
"There [in Azerbaijan] really is a stage in the formation of a new elite towards modernization of the country, and while we are constantly talking, real reforms are begin carried out there," the expert said.
He also emphasized that Azerbaijan managed to gain a technological advantage in the military sphere.
"If Azerbaijan manages to gain an advantage in terms of the formation of the state, its chances will increase sharply. Azerbaijan is going in this direction. There is a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over who will go faster and deeper to modernize the state. The tragedy is that in Azerbaijan they understand this, but in Armenia they don’t," he claimed.
Hovhannisyan said that Azerbaijan’s authorities have a clear vision about the country’s future.
Armenia however, lacks any competent long-term development program and a roadmap for modernizing the country, the expert said.
Noting the changes taking place in Russia, Hovhannisyan fears that this can negatively affect Armenia if the new Russian elite revises its priorities in the region.
"This opportunity is quite real. It will be something in the direction towards which the Azerbaijani state has been working for over the 10 years and foundations of which have already been created," Hovhannisyan said.
Commenting on the Armenian-Russian bilateral relations, he said that today Yerevan makes dangerous mistakes in relations with Moscow in terms of the future of the relations.
In particular, he cited unfriendly moves as the closure of Russian channels, the dispatching of anti-Russian public organizations in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, the jailing of ex-president Robert Kocharian (who is considered a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin).
Hovhannisyan is also pessimistic about the relations between Armenia and Western countries.
“There are no concrete results, no specific goals, neither are there any major programs. We could not remain interesting for the West ...”, the expert underlined.
He said that Western structures suffered as the current government urged people to besiege courthouses during 2019, threatened judges with the aim of forcing necessary judicial verdicts, among other things.
He cited the statement made by the PACE co-rapporteurs on the topic of the Constitutional Council (where political repressions towards Armenian Constitutional Court were mentioned), and the text issued by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, who is a Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe (in which he expressed concern over the open conflict of the authorities with the Constitutional Court) as the signals that the West is running out of patience with Armenia.
At the same time, Hovhannisyan added that there is no work program and no real agenda between Armenia and the West.
Based on the above, he came to the conclusion that in the current political situation, no promising in-depth reforms in Armenia are possible, and this country has not time for reforms.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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