Pashinyan will regret messing with me – Robert Kocharyan

12:37 • 13.09.18

Second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan has given an interview to Mediamax, sharing his thoughts over the prosecution against him in connection with the March 2008 post-electoral events and his views on the developments in the Armenian politics.

The interview was recorded early in the morning on September 11, hours before the wirerapped conversation between Director of the National Security Service Artur Vanetsyan and the chief of the Special Investigative Service, Sasun Khachatryan, was posted on YouTube.

Excerepts from the interview are provided below:

Mister Kocharyan, after your arrest media resources that oppose you conducted polls in the streets with the majority of people speaking negatively about you. Media resources that support you have conducted their own polls and the picture was different. Are you ready to make an experiment, walk in the streets of Yerevan, Gyumri or Vanadzor and talk to people to find out what their real attitude towards you is? 

I think such interaction with people will not be quite representative. There are better methods of estimating public opinion, and my team is currently working in that direction. I have never had a problem in terms of going out and meeting with people. I have almost always traveled alone over the past years, met a lot of people, and I haven’t noticed negative attitude towards me. On the contrary, people approach me, take pictures and ask questions. 

The euphoria, which prevails in Armenia, deformed the situation in a way, but I think I have the necessary base for considering further actions. 

I would like to repeat that I am not afraid of meeting with the public, but it will hardly show the attitudes of people towards me. 

You pointed out to the euphoria. It came to replace the apathy in Armenian society, which you touch upon in your interviews over the recent years. Did what happened in April take you by surprise? 


No, not at all. I have already said that the seizure of Armenian police station in the summer of 2016 was “a yellow card” to Armenian political system. I was shocked when part of Armenian population estimated positively those terrorist actions. Three policemen were killed, but despite this, people who committed those crimes, received quite wide public support. I realized the level of discontent among people, so the developments in April 2018 did not take me by surprise. I was only amazed at how this turned into the so-called “velvet revolution”. 


Were you surprised that Nikol Pashinyan was the one to consolidate people and lead the protest movement without bloodshed? 


I think that the developments unfolded without blood not because of Nikol Pashinyan’s peaceful nature, but because the government did not take all the measures at its disposal. The government undertook passive resistance against the actions of the opposition. On the other hand, yes, I was surprised by the fact that Nikol Pashinyan was the one to lead the process – he, the leader of the bloc, which had only nine mandates in the parliament. In my view, they realized the “historical moment”, “caught the wave” and reached extraordinary success. 


While I was preparing for this interview, I read many of your interviews over the last ten years and I noticed that your criticism of the Armenian authorities was very similar to what Nikol Pashinyan said. I can see certain irony in the fact that the regime you both criticized has fallen but you and Pashinyan are now in opponents.


I always said I would express my opinion about all relevant issues, be that pension reform, constitutional amendments, economic policy. And I did.

Why I am at opposing poles with Nikol Pashinyan today? I don’t have a definite answer. Most likely, he sees me as some kind of a threat.


So again the confrontation moves into the personal, not ideological framework? Do you consider Nikol Pashinyan your enemy?

I am not used to applying these terms when I speak about political processes. But I think Nikol Pashinyan will regret messing with me. I do not think that the intimidated judge in the first instance court who considered my case hated me so much that he appointed the hearing at 01:30 am. I understand who wanted it to happen that way.

Tell us about your relationship with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Did you go from colleagues to friends after your left the office or while you were still serving as president?

We had a very good friendly relationship when I was president and it remained the same way after I left the office. But I never flaunted that relationship or mentioned it at all.

Another favorite topic among your opponents deals with your property ownership. You called the claims about USD 4 billion “absurd”. As you return to political activity, are you ready to tell the real numbers and the sources of your income?

Yes, of course. There are two ongoing journalistic investigations and I think their results will be published soon. I believe the Armenian authorities are well-aware of what my family do and do not have. But the paradox is that the legend of 4 billion is damaging my reputation while being complete nonsense.


LATEST NEWSAll Today news

17:38 • 21/09

US-Armenian artist Tigran Tsitoghdzyan opens exhibition in Istanbul

17:03 • 21/09

Armenia must declare 'last ever amnesty', revising life-termers’ cases – opinion  

16:07 • 21/09

Aguero extends Man City deal until 2021

15:54 • 21/09

Queen Elizabeth put Meghan Markle through fertility tests before wedding with Prince Harry

15:45 • 21/09

Armenia celebrating independence in exceptional conditions today  – Robert Kocharyan

15:21 • 21/09

Japanese probe about to drop hopping robots onto asteroid Ryugu

15:09 • 21/09

We proved that dreams can come true – President Sarkissian congratulates Armenians on independence day  

14:51 • 21/09

Inside Anthony Bourdain's $3.7m apartment as his estranged wife puts it on the market three months after the celebrity chef took his own life

14:32 • 21/09

Tbilisi TV tower features Armenian tricolor (video)

14:17 • 21/09

Artsakh President congratulates Armenian PM on independence anniversary

14:04 • 21/09

Independence day marked at Yerablur pantheon (photos)

13:25 • 21/09

Theresa May snubbed by Merkel as German leader ignores UK PM at Salzburg summit

12:30 • 21/09

Russians suspected of Skripal poisoning previously detained in The Netherlands — Bellingcat

12:07 • 21/09

Zhamanak: CSTO sending clear messages to Armenia

11:13 • 21/09

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang dies

10:51 • 21/09

Armenia celebrates 27th anniversary of independence today

09:29 • 21/09

US imposes sanctions on China over Russian weapons purchase

18:10 • 20/09

Azerbaijan continues crackdown on civil society – Human Rights Watch

17:57 • 20/09

Cary Fukunaga to direct next James Bond movie

17:47 • 20/09

President Sarkissian visits Chinese Embassy in Yerevan

17:30 • 20/09

Zurich Protocols will 'never return' to Turkey's politcal agenda

16:55 • 20/09

European court orders Armenian government to pay €20,600 over violations in March 1 criminal case

16:50 • 20/09

No hasty plans to arrange Pashinyan-Trump meeting, says foreign minister

12:25 • 20/09

Ucom to offer more affordable roaming rate to subscribers visiting Russia

11:31 • 20/09

Adam Schiff and 8 US lawmakers urge Gov Brown to sign Turkey divestment bill

11:08 • 20/09

$60m worth digital currencies stolen from Japanese exchange

09:47 • 20/09

Zhoghovurd: Catholicos of All Armenians to step down 'for health reasons'  

09:28 • 20/09

US 'ready' to restart talks with North Korea

09:11 • 20/09

Japan foreign minister planning to discuss peace treaty with Russia’s Lavrov

18:13 • 19/09

Contract serviceman fatally wounded in Armenia’s north-east

17:50 • 19/09

Dunja Mijatović: Legal incapacity of individuals with disabilities 'challenge to their rights' in Armenia

16:18 • 19/09

IBM launches AI bias detector

15:52 • 19/09

Kocharyan explains reasons behind ‘political comeback’

15:08 • 19/09

Azerbaijan, Russia conduct joint drills in Caspian Sea

13:07 • 19/09

The Weeknd sued 'for at least $5m' for 'stealing' his hit song Starboy from another artist

12:36 • 19/09

EU 'ready to improve' Irish border deal

12:09 • 19/09

Trump hails 'exciting' agreements by North Korean leader

12:05 • 19/09

Turkish workers arrested after Istanbul airport protests  

11:30 • 19/09

Trump considers request for US military base in Poland

11:18 • 19/09

Jessica Simpson expecting third baby

11:06 • 19/09

Facebook accused of gender discrimination in job adss

10:34 • 19/09

We are ready for negotiations but must be prepared for war, prime minister says in Artsakh

09:24 • 19/09

Pentagon lists Russia, China as biggest threats to US

09:13 • 19/09

North and South Koreas ‘commit to era of no wars’

17:56 • 18/09

Armenian khachkar unveiled in Polish city

17:05 • 18/09

Armenian parliament official briefs PACE committee on Azerbaijani aggression against Armenian civilian settlements

16:55 • 18/09

Ucom doubles inclusions of uDaily prepay mobile internet service

16:35 • 18/09

Former Liverpool defender forced to retire with motor neurone disease just months after marrying England women's captain 

16:22 • 18/09

Armenia, China sign deal to facilitate air communication

15:40 • 18/09

Trump orders release of classified documents in Russia probe

15:24 • 18/09

Armenian government delegation conducts visit to Nagorno-Karabakh

14:51 • 18/09

Central Bank chief re-elected president of interstate bank council

14:40 • 18/09

Armenian defense minister meets with FAST foundation president

14:08 • 18/09

NASA's new spacecraft captures photo of more than a dozen celestial objects known to host exoplanets in stunning 'first light' image

13:45 • 18/09

Pakistan's austerity car auction falls short, new PM commutes by helicopter

13:25 • 18/09

Armenian family’s 400-year-old musical secret still rings true

13:17 • 18/09

Russia blames Israel for downing of plane, vows retaliation

12:45 • 18/09

Chief architect of Yerevan sacked

12:25 • 18/09

Republic Square selected as 'hot spot' of independence day events to symbolize success in ‘Velvet Revolution’

11:26 • 18/09

Libarman’s visit to Baku signals strengthening Azerbaijani-Israeli relations

11:09 • 18/09

Zhoghovurd: OSCE to turn closer spotlight on situation along Karabakh frontline

10:35 • 18/09

Russian military plane disappears during Israeli strikes on Latakia with 14 people on board

10:13 • 18/09

Zhamanak: Putin planning meeting with former presidents in Yerevan

09:56 • 18/09

SpaceX unveils first Moon Loop tourist

09:51 • 18/09

Sean Penn Calls #MeToo Movement ‘Receptacle of the Salacious’

09:44 • 18/09

Florence leaves 'monumental disaster' for North Carolina

09:31 • 18/09

Magnitude 1.9 earthquake hits Armenia’s south

09:13 • 18/09

SpaceX signs first private moon customer

09:12 • 18/09

Russia and Turkey agree to create buffer zone in Syria's Idlib

19:40 • 17/09

Facts, figures, and Results: Zvartnots International Airport reports details on its activity and not օnly

17:53 • 17/09

French actor Gerard Depardieu 'wants' to acquire Turkish citizenship

17:35 • 17/09

New head of OSCE Mission to Skopje takes office

17:23 • 17/09

Ukraine's Poroshenko terminates Treaty of Friendship with Russia

16:38 • 17/09

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 reportedly catches fire in user’s purse  

16:05 • 17/09

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan: Nagorno-Karabakh is not just conflict for Armenia

15:17 • 17/09

Turkish Coast Guard rescues 16 migrants as boat capsizes

14:46 • 17/09

Yerevan hosts 11th Armrobotics Championship

12:46 • 17/09

Britain’s oldest person reveals secret of longevity  

12:33 • 17/09

Arthur Abraham takes part in 45th BMW Berlin Marathon

12:02 • 17/09

Penelope Cruz dazzles in elegant one-shoulder gown as she joins husband Javier Bardem for LA screening of Loving Pablo

11:34 • 17/09

Armenian, Artsakh foreign ministers meet in Stepanakert

11:10 • 17/09

Turkey to increase troops in Turkish Cyprus

10:43 • 17/09

Elon Musk says Tesla now in 'delivery logistics hell'

10:14 • 17/09

Azerbaijan's armed forces open fire on Armenia’s south from Nakhicehvan

09:51 • 17/09

As Trump and Mattis clash in public, officials question how long he'll last at the Pentagon

09:37 • 17/09

It's not novichok, say police: 'Russian' couple fall ill at Salisbury restaurant with nerve-agent symptoms

09:15 • 17/09

New doubts emerge about US-led sanctions on North Korea

14:49 • 15/09

No more favoritism or privileged classes in Armenia - Pashinyan's interview with Le Monde

14:02 • 15/09

Kocharyan’s statements reflect level of his political understanding – Nikol Pashinyan

13:12 • 15/09

International Figure Skating Classic 2018: Armenia’s Slavik Hayrapetyan ranks fifth (video)

12:48 • 15/09

Erdogan travels to Baku  

12:07 • 15/09

Russian Orthodox church cuts ties with Constantinople over Ukraine

11:23 • 15/09

Zhamanak: Gyumri mayor 'to quit' over 'failure to work effectively' with Pashinyan's cabinet

10:49 • 15/09

Turkey demands release of 16-year-old boy held in Armenia

09:50 • 15/09

Jean-Claude Van Damme arrives in Armenia  

09:42 • 15/09

Nebraska doctor to face execution for killing four people

09:32 • 15/09

Azerbaijan shells border village in Armenia’s Tavush region

17:43 • 14/09

Jean-Claude Van Damme to visit Armenia

17:37 • 14/09

Apple criticized for new iPhones 'too big for women to hold'

16:27 • 14/09

French, Armenian leaders start working meeting in Paris