On March 14, on the first day of his official visit to Moscow, RA President Serzh Sargsyan met Armenian doctors and students, His Eminence Archbishop Ter Ezras Nersisyan, Primate of the New Nakhichevan and Russian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
During the meeting, Serzh Sargsyan called the Armenian community of Russia one of the most influential ones in the world. Indeed, the Armenian community in Russia is the largest one and, according to various estimations, may reach 3 million.
At the same time, however, the Armenian community is not represented in Government in any way, including the Russian State Duma. Despite the large amount of resources and capabilities, including famous businessmen, prominent figures in media and public figures, the Armenian interests are not properly represented by our community in Russia, as it is done in other countries of the world that have large Armenian communities, like the United States or France.
The communities of these countries regularly hold demonstrations attended by thousands of people, lobby, and use the levers of influence of Armenian officials during responsible and perilous times for Armenia. For instance, in April 2015, a Genocide commemoration march attended by 130,000 people took place in Los Angeles, while much smaller marches in Russia were stopped by the police. Dozens of thousands of people participated in a march in Lebanon on the same day, where the Armenian community is significantly smaller.
In April 2016, when Armenian communities were protesting against Azeri aggression in numerous countries of the world, Russia saw only one Armenian protestor in front of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, and that person was Vakhtang Sargsyan.
Moreover, pressure by the Armenian media and public was required in order to make the Armenian community in Russia express its dissatisfaction related to Moscow selling weapons to Azerbaijan. And the statement that the union of Armenians in Russia issued did not contain clear-cut assessments.
All these circumstances come to show that despite its size, large financial resources, famous media figures and information levers, the Armenian community in Russia is not able to properly represent the Armenian interests as it is done in other countries. And no doubt, one of the reasons for that is lack of democracy in Russia.