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Hrant Gadarigian

Pashinyan Calls on Citizens to Focus on “Real, Not Historic Armenia”

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, addressing the country’s parliament today, again argued that Armenians must clearly understand the difference between today’s Republic of Armenia and the abstract conception of historic Armenia.

“The government and I personally have come to the conviction that historical Armenia and real Armenia are not only not compatible but are often at odds with each other and even create serious threats for each other,” Pashinyan remarked during his speech highlighting the implementation of his administration’s 2021-2026 programs for the country.

Pashinyan argued that these differing conceptions of Armenia came to the forefront after the defeat of Armenian forces in the 2020 Artsakh War and the Azerbaijani seizure of Republic of Armenia territory afterwards.

He said Armenians must free themselves of the emotional attachments to historic Armenia and focus on the current Republic of Armenia, the “real Armenia”.

"The real Armenia is the one that has an internationally recognized territory and internationally recognized borders and, realizing this fact, has the self-awareness of a full and respectable member of the international community,” Pashinyan said.

He argued that this adherence to “historic Armenia” poses challenges when the Republic of Armenia seeks to normalize relations with its neighbors.

"It is a permanent guarantee of our enmity with a group of countries, and it is a guarantee that those countries will have a reason and an explanation for pursuing an aggressive policy towards us,” Pashinyan said in a veiled reference to the 1915 Armenian Genocide and territorial demands some Armenians continue to make regarding Turkey.

Pashinyan said such emotional links to the past also guarantee that Armenians will never have real independence or a state of their own and will continue to search for “outside sponsors and saviors”.

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