“We must come together at home, reasonably negotiate and find logical solutions to get out of this situation” - Interview by First Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan to Armenia TV Company
- Mr. Karapetyan, how do you assess the current situation?
- I will try to answer you by means of theses. First of all, as an Armenian, a citizen of the Republic of Armenia like everyone else, I am very much concerned about it. I am worried whether my grandchildren reached the kindergarten or my father got to the hospital or not.
Second: I am convinced that there are many patriotic and courageous young people in the streets, whose energy can and should be used elsewhere. We are prepared and should use this potential.
Third: We are building a new parliamentary system, which should be used to the maximum. We need to form a standing platform for holding political debates, discussing issues, talking and negotiating continuously rather than pointing to the problems that may arise from one election to another. And we have to use that platform.
Fourth: Frankly speaking and acknowledging that in some cases, some representatives of the authorities deviate from the reality, I propose to all political forces to reconsider their approaches to the future of the country and start a dialogue on all platforms to ensure the stability of the country.
Even the countries in war negotiate and come to a logical solution. We the Armenians, the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, must come together at home, reasonably negotiate and find logical solutions to get out of this situation. In the event of an outbreak, all of us will suffer, and our country will suffer.
- Are you personally ready to act with an initiative or join a platform, since in separate statements the First President of Armenia and the ARF Dashnaktsutyun suggested starting a political dialogue?
- Can this be considered as a recommendation for those people who are in the streets?
- Yes, I have formulated it, I suggest it.
- Mr. Karapetyan, You have assumed the position of First Deputy Prime Minister, and I congratulate you on this occasion. Is there already a clear idea of which spheres will fall under your responsibility?
- Yes, there is. I will coordinate the economic bloc and territorial development. And all the reforms we have planned and the economic trend that we have should be maximized to come to a logical end. This status has certain advantages: it offers a degree of freedom. We have many projects with our neighboring countries that call for personal involvement, but the status prevents from working with investors in a more targeted manner. In fact, I repeat that we must use the potential we have.
We are on a good trend. Today the National Statistical Service provided some figures. We had 10.6% economic growth in the first three months of this year, which is much higher than the average in the world. I understand very well and realize that many of our citizens have not yet benefited from it, but we should state that the only way to wellbeing is to ensure a higher than the average economic growth.
- Will you continue the programs you talked about during the parliamentary election campaign and after that, as Prime Minister? There were programs phased out in three or four years.
- Yes, and in the near future we will fix it in the new government program.
- It is clear that the government and the authorities propose a dialogue; rally participants are for a “velvet revolution.” These approaches may converge at some point. In your opinion, where is that point? What will be the beginning, after which it will be possible not to live in two different worlds, but to meet somewhere?
- It can be right now if we think rational and pragmatic. Frankly speaking, I do hope that our nation is pragmatic, rational, has a sense of the danger coming, because life has disposed that way. We need to be sober and understand that this is the wrong way. We have losses in terms of reputation, we are not perceived as a predictable country, and it will have some consequences. I do not see any obstacles to negotiating and starting a dialogue right now. Why should we wait for another moment?
- Negotiate about what?
- How to get out of this situation? Discuss burning issues, give suggestions, look into the sore points, and speak boldly about them.
- Are you ready for it?