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March 22, 2008

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Onnik Krikorian

Actually, most of the photographs -- if not all that I saw, anyway -- were of "political prisoners," i.e. Levon's people detained after the 1 March clash which left 7 civilians and 1 policeman dead. Ironically for a memorial event, those attending were REQUESTED to bring photographs of the detainees and NOT those that died.

To express your protest, it is advised to have with you:

1. The photograph or photographs of any or some political prisoners (with their names and last names displayed) and hold them visibly in your hands or attached to your backs. If possible, print a few photographs of political prisoners and give them to the participant near you. Some photographs can be downloaded from the following website: http://marti21.blogspot.com/

http://unzipped.blogspot.com/2008/03/yerevan-21-march-2008-silent-protest.html

Onnik Krikorian

Incidentally, I don't agree with the premise that Ter-Petrossian is not pro-West. Indeed, I think most analysts consider that he is, especially as it pertains to the two key cornerstones of his foreign policy from the 1990s -- normalized and diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Sure, after the election he started to get openly annoyed with the West for not jumping to his assistance although still seemed to hold out for some kind of intervention. However, Armenia is not Georgia or Ukraine.

In those two countries, there was a battle going on between the West and Russia for influence whereas in Armenia there is not. Armenia is not as geopolitically important to control. Instead, the West favors stability.

Doug M.

Onnik, interesting point about the pictures. I did not know that. Thanks!

As for Ter-Petrosian, I don't see him as more (or less) "pro-Western" than Kocharian or Sarkisian. Kocharian has walked a careful line, staying close to Russia but also on good terms with the US, other western countries, and even Iran. Ter-Petrosian would probably do much the same.

There would be differences in his foreign policy, sure. As you say, he would probably try harder to settle the Karabakh dispute, and might attempt some sort of overture to Turkey. But that's not about being pro- or anti-Western.

I do agree that the US and other Western powers have less strategic interest in Armenia than in Georgia or Ukraine (though less is not none!) and so place a higher priority on stability. Also, from Washington's point of view, the current situation is acceptable -- Armenia isn't an ally, but it's friendly and causes no serious problems. So there's not a strong incentive for the US to support Ter-Petrosian.


Doug M.

Onnik Krikorian

Ok, you might be right about the pro-Western aspects. One analysis also makes the same point.

Both Sarkisian and Ter-Petrosian have solid pro-Russian credentials, but the new president is far less likely than Ter-Petrosian to work for a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Together with Kocharian, he is among the “hawks” on Azerbaijan and is not inclined to compromise. [...]

BTW: It's an interesting analysis of why post-election opposition protests failed by a founder of PORA in Ukraine.

http://democratizationpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/dpc-analyst-no-1-25-mar-2008.pdf

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