ARF-D Leaders in the News

Armenia's Declaration on Independence, 23 August 1990

Vahan Hovhannisyan weighs in on upcoming CSTO Summit

In an interview with Aravot daily in mid-August, ARF Dashnaktsutyn Bureau member Vahan Hovhannesyan spoke about the upcoming informal Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) Summit to be held in Armenia. “I would like to expect the best from the summit and note certain advantages for Armenia in the context of strengthening of CSTO. But I do not see any prerequisites,” he said.

According to the ARF-D leader, Russia is still trying to relive its Soviet heritage, but the country should realize it cannot have Armenia and Azerbaijan simultaneously. Hovhannisyan considers Moscow’s strategy as being short-sighted. “Acting against our national interests, Russia often tries to flirt with a country Armenia has serious problems with,” he noted. “However, tomorrow Russia itself may have serious problems with them as well. CSTO might not be established as an organization due to Russia’s political and economic disparagement,” he concluded.

Rustamyan, “We have deviated from the Declaration on Independence”

On August 23, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Armenia, the then Soviet republic’s legislature, adopted a declaration on independence. It was Armenia’s desire to seek independent statehood that saw similar declarations passed by the legislatures of the Soviet Baltic Republics of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

It would take another 13 months for Armenians to complete the process of their independence from Moscow in a formal referendum on September 21, 1991. The Soviet Union ceased to exist at the end of that year and the sovereignty and independence of its former 15 republics, including Armenia, was recognized by the international community shortly.

Armen Rustamyan, chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) Supreme Council of Armenia, in cooments to the media attached great significance to the 1990 Declaration on Independence, but said that subsequent years have shown that “we often deviated from the general logic of the Declaration.”

“A national state path of developing the country in fact should have been built upon that Declaration. And our main discontent toady is that that path has seen deviations during these 20 years,” Rustamyan said in an RFE/RL interview.