Armenian bloggers call for Foreign Minister Nalbandian's resignation

Following the release of a statement on July 10, 2009, in Aquila, by presidents of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, containing the so-called Madrid basic principles of Karabakh problem’s resolution a group of several dozen Armenian bloggers have launched a campaign demanding the resignation of Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

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“We believe these principles are pernicious to the Republic of Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian people,” the statement runs, as published by RealArmenia blog. The blog claims over 150 Armenian bloggers have signed the statement and goes on to demand from the President of Armenia Serzh Sarkisian:

–         Immediate dismissal of RA foreign minister Edward Nalbandyan
–         Cessation of participation in negotiations that are destructive for the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh
–         Forbearance from signing evidently anti-Armenian documents
–         Acting henceforth only for the interests of the Armenian statehood and with valor typical to the Armenian people.

Pigh, one of the highest rated nationalist blogs on the Armenian section of LiveJournal steps in posting a list of 47 Armenian blogs who have supported the action. Over a 100 bloggers have also joined the statement in the comment section of Pigh’s blog, thus making the number of bloggers joining the action over 150.
The blogosphere is not uniform in the demand , however. Unzipped formulates most of the criticism in a lengthy post:

Do they [Armenian bloggers] actually think that it’s a Minister of Foreign Affairs who formulate and lead Armenian foreign policy? Of course, they do not. No need to re-state that Armenian foreign policy is being directed by a president. FM Nalbandyan is simply an employee who is conducting work based on instructions and approvals by his boss. It’s just plain easy and does not require courage to target consequences but not the roots. It’s much more convenient to find a scapegoat and fight him.

Commenting on Unzipped’s post, veteran blogger Onnik Krikorian makes an important point:

Not going to discuss the terms of any deal, but the statement is a nationalist one and also, does it really represent the view of “Armenian bloggers?”  These guys have just gotten a little carried away with their self-importance since disrupting events staged at Yerevan schools and on International Women’s Day. Anyway, one name signed up is, of course, Pigh. His right, of course, although who in the blogosphere was asked about the wording of this statement is suspect. Pigh says 150 bloggers have signed btw, but no names are listed.

Narjan[AM] goes on to explain:

“I’m sure that most of the people criticizing Nalbandian do it on purpose – to divert public frustration from the real guilty. At any rate, I’m sure, that such actions do a lot of damage, and I urge everyone, who cares for the future of this country to abstain from cursing Nalbandian. There is only one person responsible. Nalbandian is a middle-range operative, who is just slightly different from a driver or head of stables.

Meanwhile,the RadioVan blog, while agreeing that it’s pointless to blame Nalbandian, also suggests to directly go to President Serzh Sarkisian and tell him: “Why don’t you reveal what a hell are you doing for 20 years not with your negotiations.” The blog speculates, that could be a more effective strategy to change something in Armenia’s stance on Karabakh resolution.
Gago from Berlin, on the other hand, says the action is pointless, putting the blame on President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev, Presidents of OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries: Medvedev, Obama and Sarkozi.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Where were nearly all these bloggers when Serzh and Robert were assassinating our fellow Armenians downtown Yerevan and thus making a big room for pressure by “superpowers” so that the latter states can get their desired results in terms of NKR issue?
    Also, the above picture resembles Khrimyan Hayrik’s cries towards Europe. I’d rather suggest to cry on “our” authorities who are now in their positions also due to gigantic efforts of some of the above bloggers…

  2. This is just a bullshit. “Vstavay Iran … vstavay …” my ass… you dumbasses. Can’t you invent somthing more catchy and credible. What the hell is this banner about ?

  3. Dear Artur
    Please correct some non-correct points
    In my russian-language blog(Pigh)I have asked bloggers either place the statement in their blogs or leave a comment expressing agreement with the statement. 47 bloggers placed announcement about hundred agreed in my blog. So far number of 150(mentioned in my english-language) is true.

  4. […] Global Voices Online Caucasus editor Onnik Krikorian. An original version of this post is available here. Posted by Artur Papyan  Print version Share […]

  5. Jeez. Who should vstavay? Dumbasses.

  6. I don’t understand who this banner is addressed to? Europe, America&Co don’t speak the language you are addressing them with any more, to them Armenia is not better than Turkey or Azerbaijan and the very opposite is actually true -we have nothing to offer for the resources of our bigger neighbours; until 1995 we had a ‘newborn’ democracy to offer, then we lost that as well. China, India are not involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process anyway. Iran? Oh, please, don’t make me laugh, Iran thinks karabakh belongs to them, same as Russia that thinks we all belong to them.
    Now, I think last 200 years of begging for help haven’t done us any good, noone likes beggers and noone respects them.
    And for the matter of fact, someone has to get up and say ‘WE HAVE TO WITHDRAW FROM THE 5 REGIONS’,if the peace deal guarantees Armenian Karabakh with a land link to Armenia with proper security guarantees, then why not? Agdam is not Armenian and we today have as much right to claim it as Sasun and Mush, which I’m sure we all would love to have, but we understand that it is unrealistic.
    We need peace, we need open borders, we need security of not fearing war all the time, we need to make Armenia a better place to leave and until we have the Karabakh unresolved it’s impossible.

    1. The poster is pretty dumb, I admit – but it is funny too – don’t you think?

  7. When I said we need to make Armenia a better place to ‘leave’ I actually meant live)))

  8. When they ask us to withdraw from 5 regions for the price of peace, it’s like asking a man that we have to cut either your arms and legs or your head. As if cutting the arms and legs is a much more acceptable choice, knowing that once they do that, then they can cut your head with much more ease.
    We cannot comprise not even a inch from Arstakh. In fact, we should demand more lands from Azerbeijan and Turkey.

    1. Haro, this exact position is the reason why there is no solution in Karabakh. If Serzh Sargsian keeps on insisting on this stance, there is no point in holding negotiations. Is that what you want?

      1. It depends by what it is meant by solution. If the so called “solution” is simply the capitulation of Armenians, certainly it becomes a solution for Turks, but a disaster for Armenians. For me a “solution” should be beneficial to both sides. At the current rate of historic events, between Turks and Armenians, the Turks need to compromise much more. They need to recognize the Armenian Genocide, they need to return a considerable amount of land (including the Ararat mountain), they need to repay to Armenian people at least half a trillion USD as a compensation to the damage done in the past. Once all of these are completed, they should also guarantee the well being of Armenia to gain the confidence of their neighbor, only then we can call the situation a solution, and yes, we can live in peace together as neighbors.

  9. Also, there may be a link between the recent issue of UN Peace keeping forces leaving Georgia and Karabagh status issue. They may have a plan of switching peace keeping forces from Georgia to Karabagh. That is the compromise that the Russians took under USA and EU pressure.

    I was not doubting Serge Sargsyan, if he had signed any documents in Moscow, it would have made the situation a Damoclean Sword for him. We did that once before for the first president of RA.
    Any solution on the negotiation table must be acceptable to all Armenians, i.e. RA, RNK and Diaspora. This is not a decision of Serge Sargsyan alone.

  11. And please keep the borders close in the East and the West, and work to improve the North and South channels. On a sphere you can have geodesies can go in any direction, not necessarily through Turks.

  12. At this junction of history, our best hope of transport and land communication is still the North. Turks, together with NATO clearly know this fact, and they know that to weaken Russia they need to control Georgia first. They somehow failed that plan, and NATO being far away has retracted from this idiotic maneuver. The Turks however do not learn their lessons quickly, they still see the South of Georgia as a vulnerable point through which they can weave their strategies, if it were not the Armenian population in Javakhk. Georgian population is in very unfavorable situation, while their president is a puppet of the West, NATO and Turks.
    It is understandable that Armenians do not favor Sahagishvili, but we can always improve our brotherhood with the Georgian people. This is the only hope for both Armenians and Georgians. Javakhk must work through Georgian people, instead of their ruling party. Recent ideas of introducing a federative infrastructure in Georgia is quite practical solution for both Georgia and Armenia. Also, as in the past 2 decades, Armenia must help ease the conflict between Russia and Georgia.
    These are some of the constructive tasks that need to be addressed for the landlocked Armenia, and not try to beat the odds with an archaic enemy, who has already committed a Genocide against us and does not refrain from doing it again.
    And yes, Nalbadyan must step down, and be replaced by a more able foreign policy agenda.

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