Talking with Radio Liberty about the experience of the Republican Party, Vigen Sargsyan said that thanks to their experience, the country has developed over the years, there has been peace, border security, a successful foreign policy with its results.
Leaving aside the controversial claims about progress, peace, and border security during those years, let’s address the successful foreign policy as mentioned by Vigen Sargsyan.
After assuming the post of the president, Serzh Sargsyan brought two major initiatives to the foreign policy agenda, which, in the course of time, failed in whole or in part.
The first initiative were the Turkish-Armenian protocols. As a result of the establishment of the interstate board of historians, Armenia actually questioned the fact of the Genocide. However, as it was presented to the public, the creation of a group of historians pursued a bigger goal: establishment of diplomatic relations, opening of borders, and ultimately, withdrawal of Armenia from an economic blockade. On March 1, 2018, Serzh Sargsyan canceled the signed protocols, putting an end to the initiative he started ten years ago.
Second, and perhaps the most important foreign policy initiative was taken in 2010, when the process of signing the Association Agreement with the European Union was launched. For 3.5 years, the entire Armenian state system worked for the preparation of the Association Agreement. However, on September 3, 2013, Serzh Sargsyan announced that Armenia chooses the Eurasian Economic Union. As a result, a new negotiation process between Armenia and the EU began, as a result of which the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between Yerevan and Brussels was signed in November 2017, which, however, was a much weaker document than the Association Agreement.
It should be reminded that according to research by world-famous Ecorys organization, as a result of association with the EU, Armenia’s GDP would have an additional 2.3% growth in a few years, and state budget revenues would increase by an additional $ 146 million. According to the same research, export volumes from Armenia would also increase by 15 percent.
According to the report, the strengthening of market competition inside Armenia would result in an additional 2.7% increase in wages, and the number of jobs requiring high qualification would increase by 7% in the labor market. Poverty, both extreme and general, would have decreased considerably. In other words, according to the research study, this foreign policy failure had a multiplicative effect on Armenia’s economic development.
It is noteworthy that Vigen Sargsyan shared on his Facebook page the edited version of the video of the interview given to RFE/RL, in which the “undesirable” parts of the interview had been removed.
Earlier, in an interview with Petros Ghazaryan, Vigen Sargsyan reproached the TV host that the latter took part in the Yerevan City Council elections, received votes, and then did not go to the city council, thus deceiving the voters.
In this regard, we should note that Vigen Sargsyan headed the Republican list in the 2017 parliamentary elections as well. However, he did not go to the parliament, and remained in the post of Defense Minister. In this context, accusing journalist Petros Ghazaryan is not very a very honest endeavor.