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Opinion: Armenia's Constitutional Conundrum

Opinion: Armenia's Constitutional Conundrum

Despite progress between Armenia and Azerbaijan over border delimitation and demarcation, another issue threatens to hinder the signing of a long-awaited agreement to normalise relations. Baku now demands that Yerevan first removes from its constitution a controversial preamble referencing the 1990 Declaration of Independence. Based on the 1989 decision on the Reunification of the Armenian SSR and the Mountainous Region of Karabakh, the Armenian government has signalled that the preamble might be removed, but that it does not appreciate being publicly lectured from abroad to do so.
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Opinion: Political Uncertainty in Armenia Should Not Disrupt Azerbaijan Normalisation

Opinion: Political Uncertainty in Armenia Should Not Disrupt Azerbaijan Normalisation

The Armenian opposition had up to now failed to come up with a leader who could unite it in its quest to overthrow Nikol Pashinyan. "That could change if a new political force led by a charismatic and populist alternative were to emerge. This month, the opposition hoped they have  such an alternative in Bagrat Galstanyan, Archbishop of the Tavush Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, write Onnik Krikorian for commonspace.eu. Leading protests against the recent delimitation and demarcation of the Gazakh-Tavush section of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, the cleric managed to rally up to 30,000 people in Yerevan’s Republic Square earlier this month, the largest public gathering since Pashinyan’s own in 2018.
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Opinion: Armenia-Azerbaijan Gas Co-operation: Pipe Dream or Reality?

Opinion: Armenia-Azerbaijan Gas Co-operation: Pipe Dream or Reality?

In that context, is it even possible to consider Armenia purchasing gas from Azerbaijan? Unless Yerevan can cancel or renegotiate its existing obligations, that remains unknown. However, that is not to say there aren’t other opportunities. Given the finite nature of fossil fuels, and a gradual switch to renewables anyway, perhaps alternative energy sources offer more potential. Armenia already exports electricity to Georgia and that could be expanded to include Turkiye and through the Black Sea Submarine Cable too – but likely only if normalisation continues. "Following an unprecedented joint statement by Yerevan and Baku last December, in which Armenia green lit Azerbaijan hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) later this year, the event offers the opportunity to take this conversation further. At the weekend, Azerbaijani Presidential Advisor Hikmet Hajiyev had already put the focus on making the important global event “an engine for peace by finding common ground […].” As the world continues to grapple with the problem of climate change and securing new sources of energy for the future, it is vital that Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia work together as part of a larger solution. The signs are already there", wites Onnik James Krikorian in this op-ed for commonspace.eu
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Opinion: Civil society should actively support Armenia-Azerbaijan border demarcation

Opinion: Civil society should actively support Armenia-Azerbaijan border demarcation

The announcement of the return of the four non-enclave villages of Baghanis Ayrim, Ashagi Askipara, Kheyrimli, and Gizilhajili comes as a welcome development. That is not to say that there won’t be problems as the physical process of delimitation/demarcation takes place, and military forces are replaced by border guards, and nor does it ignore the distinct lack of trust between Yerevan and Baku, but it does highlight the need for more focused work in order to build confidence between the sides. Pashinyan has already hinted at the idea of trade between the two communities at some point in an albeit distant future but this is also a region that has experienced significant cross-border incidents for over 30 years. The task won’t be simple, but civil society in both countries could and should play an important role alongside the work of the two governments.
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Opinion: Historical versus real Armenia - Pashinyan's push for a new narrative

Opinion: Historical versus real Armenia - Pashinyan's push for a new narrative

Nikol Pashinyan is a populist. Whether on the domestic or international scene, it is difficult to consider him a statesman. Populism defines his words and permeates his actions. But in comparison with those leaders before him, he is also a rarity in Armenia’s post-independence history – he is a democratically elected leader.Nikol Pashinyan is a populist. Whether on the domestic or international scene, it is difficult to consider him a statesman. Populism defines his words and permeates his actions. But in comparison with those leaders before him, he is also a rarity in Armenia’s post-independence history – he is a democratically elected leader. Perhaps, if populism arguably contributed to the last war and the loss of Karabakh it could also be used to usher in a new era of peace and regional integration, coincidentally relegating nationalist narratives and mythologies of old to the annuls of history. It will also prove instrumental to maintaining Pashinyan's rule. In 2013 he already used the slogan of “Real Armenia” but at that time to rally for an Armenia without Serzh Sargsyan. In 2018 it succeeded.