Awarding Saakashvili Highest State Honor A Mistake, Says Professor

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—Awarding Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili with the highest honor of the Armenian Republic, despite his heavy-handed policies in his country’s predominantly Armenian region of Javakhk, was a mistake by all accounts, according to a prominent professor in Yerevan, familiar with the socio-economic crisis facing the impoverished region.

“How could we award the highest state medal to a President whose fate is unknown; who has always come forth with anti-Armenian policies and has done nothing worth getting the highest state medal of the Republic of Armenia?” Professor Haykazun Alvrtsyan asked reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.

Saakashvili received the Medal of Honor from President Serzh Sarkisian at the start of his two-day official visit to Yerevan on June 24. Sarkisian’s office cited his contribution to “strengthening the centuries-old Georgian-Armenian friendship.”

But the move to award him did not go down well with Armenian activists who tried to stage a protest on June 25 outside a Yerevan hotel where the Georgian leader stayed during the trip. Saakashvili government has been deliberately neglecting the socioeconomic woes of Georgia’s Javakhk region and violating the rights of its predominantly Armenian population.

The medal, Alvrtsyan explained, was given to Saakashvili for expectations rather than merits. “This was incorrect but predictable.”

Shortly after bestowing the award, Armenia was strongly criticized by two senior members of the Russian parliament who described it as “an untactful and unfriendly step towards Russia.”

Alvrtsyan said that sort of reaction “could be expected,” with the hostile nature of Russian-Georgian relations. “Fortunately, it does not reflect the official position of Russia,” he noted.


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  1. Hye4Life said:

    Once again our politicians in Erevan are light years behind in their thinking. The disappointments and setbacks from Armenian government on the foreign relations front have been mountainous. One after another the policies have been almost laughable with possible dangerous outcomes in the future.
    I think we as a nation need to replace the Foreign Relations ministry folks and replace them with more national and more qualified diplomats who will give the right advices to the decision makers. And Edward Nalbandian needs to go, he has been disastrous for us and it is shame to have him represent Armenia. Soon we will run out of cards to play as he has been giving away all our aces.
    This is why Diaspora with the help of ANCA needs to train and give guidance to the new leaders of Armenia, especially on the Diplomatic and Foreign Relations side

  2. Haro said:

    Well, obviously Nalbadyan is at the end of his political rope. But, the other guy in Georgia, namely Saakashvili will probably go down sooner. To see where I am coming from, watch more carefully the political and strategic moves that are occurring recently in Caucasus. Giving a medal is a gesture, but what kind of gesture? It is not clear. How do you know that this gesture is not a “Sicilian” gesture.

  3. leoAryatsi said:

    It was wrong to give the medal but why are you concerned about what Russia thinks. They play footsie with the turks and those who still desire to destroy us but we cant do what we want. As I always say the Russians need us more than we need them. This said, we should develope our ties with Russia militarily and economically. They are our most reliable allies.

  4. Vasken said:

    Tell me with whom you go, I tell you who you are- You are sarkisashvily!