December 18, 2018 - 16:52 AMT
Armenia elections "signaled rejection of close alignment with Russia"

The December 9 parliamentary elections in Armenia signaled a rejection of close alignment with Russia, British journalist and writer on the Caucasus Thomas de Waal says in a fresh article published by Carnegie Europe.

My Step alliance led by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan secured a convincing victory in the vote, with 70.43% of all the ballots cast in their favor. Two more parties - Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia - have also collected enough votes to have seats in the National Assembly. They have won 8.27% and 6.37% of the vote, respectively.

Armenia, a close military and politically ally of Russia, financially reliant on Moscow for its energy and infrastructure, nonetheless managed to cast off its old regime in 2018, de Wall says.

"Many Western observers were surprised that Russia did not intervene in the “Velvet Revolution” to save a friendly regime, but it actually had very few levers to do so," the article says.

"On December 9 the leader of the revolution, Nikol Pashinyan, completed the last stage of his spectacular victory with a landslide win in the country’s parliamentary election. The election signaled, amongst other things, a rejection of close alignment with Russia."

According to the expert, the three South Caucasian countries - Armenian, Georgia and Azerbaijan - have found a way to manage its relationship with Russia. All of them, he says, for all their flaws, have become functioning states and more or less autonomous international actors.