Armen Sargsyan, who currently holds the position of Armenian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, answered questions from members of the Armenian parliament on Thursday (1 March) ahead of a parliamentary vote on Friday that is likely to see him elected as the 4th president of independent Armenia.
Under the provisions of constitutional changes that were approved in a referendum last year most executive power will next month revert to the prime minister and Parliament. Armen Sargsyan will be proposed for the presidency by the riling coalition made up of the Republican Party of Armenia and the Dashnaktsyutsun Party. Sargsyan reached out to other political forces and civil society over the last months in an effort to secure broad consensus for his election. Based on statements from non government parties it is likely that some of them will support the nomination.
On Wednesday, Armen Sargsyan addressed the national assembly during which he promised that if elected he will work honestly and openly, and will put his best efforts in the country's development and prosperity.
"I will be someone who will fulfill his obligations as the President of Armenia but also and more importantly - a citizen in this country. My presidency will not be limited to this parliament; I will be the president of the Armenian people to represent, in a way, also the interests of the Armenians of Artsakh. I will be a president enjoying not only real but also moral support. I will do everything within my power to be the president of the huge Armenian Diaspora to realize our vision of [national] unity and unite our country into a single nation and a single people governed by one president. We are a small state but we can be an international nation. I am confident that with the right planning and steps we can make the 21st century ours", Armenian media quoted Sargsyan as telling MPs.
photo: Armen Sargsyan speaking at a meeting of the Armenian National Assembly ahead of a vote on Friday that is likely see him elected as the 4th president of independent Armenia. (picture courtesy of hert.am)
Earlier in the day Putin made a shorty private visit to Austria, where he attended the wedding of the Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneisl, and held what was described by the Kremlin as "a brief conversation" with the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.
Addressing Armenia's foreign policy Nikol Pashinyan said he wanted a qualitative improvement in the relations with Russia and to improve relations with the EU. To those who are saying Armenia is going to the west, Pashinyan said, "Armenia is going nowhere. It is just standing on its feet"