Hello, and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, Week in Review. This show was recorded on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. This week we’re going to talk about the following major topics:
● Mass Protests Growing in Yerevan
● FM Mirzoyan in Washington DC
● Normalization Round 3
To talk about these issues, we have with us:
Benyamin Poghosyan, who is the Chairman of the Yerevan based think tank Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies.
State of the opposition-led protests that are gaining momentum in Yerevan.
● What is Russia’s reaction? What outcome would serve its interests?
● What is the West’s reaction? What are its interests?
FM Mirzoyan was in DC last week, meeting Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and other Washington leaders such as Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen Bob Menendez, etc. US Ambassador to Armenia Lynn Tracy accompanied Mirzoyan to DC.
After the meeting Blinken complimented Armenia on its flexibility in peace talks.
● Did the timing of this visit have anything to do with the growing protest movement, perhaps fears by the Pashinyan government of losing power?
● Why did the US DOJ suddenly bring up the Civil Forfeiture case from 2014 against prominent “former” Gagik Khachatryan?
As the US had announced, Armenia and the US signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation after the meeting. The US DOS explanation on how such agreements are used is a bit general and the specific scope may be different from country to country.
● What is the intersection of Armenian and US interests that necessitates signing this agreement? Are there any specific top priorities that you can think of? How will this affect Armenia’s nuclear cooperation with Russia?
On May 3rd, the Armenian and Turkish special reps for the Normalization negotiations met. After the meeting very bland and identical statements were released to the media, indicating that most of the discussions are happening in a very closed format, opaque to the public.
● What are your impressions of the state of the negotiations, after this third meeting?
● Turkish FM Cavusoglu stated that Armenia had agreed to start border demarcations of their mutual border, but Armenia denied this. Was this a trial balloon for a new pre-condition? What was the purpose?
● Why did Iran reiterate its support for Armenian control of transit links prior to the meeting?
That was our Week in Review show, and we hope it helped you catch up with some of the issues in and around Armenia from this past week. As always, we invite your feedback and your suggestions. You can find us on most social media and podcast platforms, or our website Groong.org.
Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on YouTube, Like our pages and follow us on social media. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week, thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.
Benyamin Poghosyan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, South Caucasus, Turkey, Russia, Transportation Links, Corridors, Borders, Peace Negotiations, United States, Iran, Washington DC, Ararat Mirzoyan, Anthony Blinken, Mitch McConnell, Robert Menendez,