Thursday (February 25th): An Armenian coup?

Nikol Pashinyan

Name? Nikol Pashinyan

Westphalian identity? Armenian

Age? 45

Why is he in the news? The Armenian armed forces have called upon Nikol Pashinyan to resign from his position as prime minister of Armenia. In a statement they claimed “the serious mistakes in foreign policy have put the country on the brink of collapse.” In response, Pashinyan rallied his supporters in the streets of the capital, fired the chief of the armed forces general staff, and called the actions of the military a coup attempt. 

Why do we care? These struggles come as no surprise as the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement is regarded as a humiliation by most Armenians. Since it was brokered by Russia in December, Pashinyan’s popularity has diminished and protests for his resignation erupted. This agreement ended an inter-state armed conflict with 6000+ casualties. 

Why should you care? The survival of this agreement, however imperfect it might be, assures the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Pashinyan was able to realise that Azerbaijan was simply the bigger military power (with Turkey’s drone help of course). A new leader in Armenia might be foolish enough to restart the fighting. So on our how much should you care scale this scores a 6/10. 

Who else cares? Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. He was one of the first to condemn the military actions as a coup, emphasising Pashinyan is the democratically elected leader. This comes as a surprise considering that Turkey is Azerbaijan’s closest ally. Thus, it shows Turkish concern with a new government (potentially under military rule) challenging the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement. In the end, the enemy you know is always better than the enemy you do not know. 

Any further comments? What is up with leaders of countries and their Facebook accounts? Pashinyan called on his supporters via Facebook … In a real coup, the military takes over TV stations as well, but that did not really happen here …

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator