I must say that in my opinion, there is a direct connection. In other words, what happened in the spring of 2018 was in essence an anti-Karabakh movement, I must honestly say, not only against Karabakh, but also against the people of Karabakh. This is what third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said in an exclusive interview with ArmNews TV, responding to a question about the connection between the “velvet revolution” and his resignation with the Artsakh issue.
“A situation arose in which I preferred to resign rather than try to offer the public one of the many solutions available at that time. I can never agree with the idea that you voiced, namely that I handed over power to them. No, first of all, I handed over power to Karen Karapetyan. I understand that people have the legitimate right to think that I handed over power to them. But the point is that based on the geopolitical realities, I had the conviction that if the chief negotiator changed, there would be changes in the negotiation process that would be fatal for our country. During the interview we will touch upon it from different aspects. That is why I agreed to be elected Prime Minister, because no one could have predicted that their movement, their initiative could get such a strong momentum in Armenia. I also understand very well all those people who are retrospectively asking why all the appropriate measures were not taken from the very outset; why no sufficiently tough measures were taken when they broke into the Public Radio Headquarters, but on the other hand, I want others to understand me. I say again that there was no precondition that this movement could gain such momentum,” he added.
In the words of Serzh Sargsyan, this future Capitulator appeared in his field of vision in the early 90s.
“First of all, let me say that this future Capitulator appeared in my field of vision in the early 90s, and more precisely, in the late 1993, when I was Minister of Defense for a few months. At that time, we had some problems on the battlefield after many success stories. By citing untrue facts and unnecessarily criticizing, he was simply hurting us, not only me, but also my comrades-in-arms,” Serzh Sargsyan said in response to the following question: “Mr. President, you say to have transferred power to Karen Karapetyan, but there is a widespread version, and you have definitely heard that the incumbent Prime Minister of Armenia is your own project. I want to know if that is the case or not. Did you have any contacts during the Revolution, maybe before that, or after the transfer of power, other than the televised one which only lasted a few minutes?”
“So, you recorded his name as early as in the 1990s.”
“No, I did so on November 9, 2020, assuming that you mean the Capitulator…Yes, he then appeared in my field of vision for the first time. We met for the second time in court in the late 90s, and for the third time we met in 2018 at the Marriott Hotel.
There was no other meeting or a mediated contact. No, not over the phone. I say, there was not even a mediated contact. I repeat, I have seen that person three times.”
“Did he not have any desire to contact you during his tenure, directly on the Artsakh issue?”
“No, for which I am glad, for I had no such desire.”
“But would you accept that offer if it were?Such readiness was shown to you and other ex-presidents during the war.”
“You know, it is a different circumstance, when with the former presidents, yes, we had such a desire, but I would never meet him face to face. No, I did not have that desire. As for the fact that the Capitulator is my project, it is just a joke, I would not want such a project even for my enemy, where was it, that I should scribble such nonsense for me. – The Capitulator is not my project. And besides what you said, I know other implications, I just want to say once again that he is the project of the forces with which I could never have anything in common. I had disagreements and contradictions with them in the sense that my ideas on the development of Armenia and Artsakh were largely different from those forces’ views. – Sorry, I have to say the following: the Capitulator was elected by the people, our deceived people under the direction of the aforementioned forces, and let all those who are disseminating this thesis not try to put the blame on me. I was faced with a dilemma, whether I should use force, and as you may remember, there were many children and women on the street (it was clear that it could result in losses; it was clear that it would make Armenia vulnerable in the negotiation process, just as in all other respects), or I should make a decision on the transfer of power, giving the country the opportunity to settle the matter over time.”
“Do you feel now that it was a mistake?
The most famous phrase in the text of your resignation is that he was right, and you were wrong. Did you mean the wrong choice of your successor?”
“No. I just think that the April, 2018 events had better be discussed in a separate televised interview or a press conference, which is closer to my heart. I think it can be held in a foreseeable future. As for what I said, which received public interest, I can only say the following: I have edited that statement three times: For the first time, I added a few sentences on the morning of April 23, then I put the text of the statement aside, I calmly meditated for 30-40 minutes, then I struck off some sentences to simplify the text, considering that an overloaded text could have aggravated the situation even more. After a while, when the text was already in its final form, I invited Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and asked him directly, saying the following: “Dear Karen, Mr. Prime Minister, I think the solution may be my departure. Are you prepared to assume responsibility in this situation?
He immediately said yes, which I appreciated. I said, then let us agree as follows: we have to go to the presidential office after a while (there was a consultation with the participation of His Holiness), immediately after that consultation you can go to the isolation ward to tell them that I am going to resign later today, let them defuse the situation. Note that the next day was April 24. So, agreed!”
According to Serzh Sargsyan, there was no talk about handing power over to them, it was about his resignation.
“I do not think Karapetyan could have told them anything else. Karapetyan did not talk to them about the transfer of power. Karapetyan told them that I was resigning. After that, I showed Karen Karapetyan the text of my resignation, and removed a paragraph at his request. This was the third edition.”
“Releasing the current authorities from prison on April 23 through the mediation of Karen Karapetyan, you made it clear to Karapetyan that you were not handing over power to them, but you were handing over the government to Karapetyan. Can you say that it was the message, and your message to Karapetyan was that you did not hand over power with the calculation of transferring it to the incumbent government, but you trusted him to run the state?”
“That is it. Besides, I was Prime Minister on April 23, while Karen Karapatyan was the First Deputy Prime Minister. I do not mean at all that I am not to be blamed for bringing them to power. No, I am just telling the truth and I am saying it directly, without blaming Karen Karapetyan.”