Armenia Celebrates 19 Years of Independence from Soviet Union

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian Tuesday congratulated the Armenian people on the 19th anniversary of Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union, News.am reported.

In his remarks, Sarkisian hailed the establishment of the Armenian states, evaluated its economic development since independence, and urged continued vigilance in the years as Armenia continues along the difficult road toward lasting peace and security in the region.

He described the “entire history” of the Armenian nation as one characterized by the “struggle for freedom,” which has waged on and off, successfully and unsuccessfully for “centuries and millennia.”

“Our royal and noble families, backed by national support, passed from hand to hand the standard of Armenian identity, Armenian spirit and Armenian statehood,” Sarkisian said. They did it not seeking glory but rather created those moments of glory; they united the nation around the idea, assembled means to achieve the sacred goal, fought and negotiated, supported arts and sciences.”

Sarkisian said this rich legacy has at times been “difficult to embrace” and is “so compelling that at times it seems like the burden is too heavy to carry.”

“But on September 21, 1991 the people of Armenia told the entire world things that were unspoken or only whispered. The people of Armenia stated out loud ‘Yes, we are the masters of our legacy, our identity, our standard and our statehood and will carry out our historic responsibility,” Sarkisian exclaimed.

On that day, he continued, the Armenian people announced they were “ready to unite around one sacred goal, ready to fight and negotiate, live and build.”

Sarkisian described the overwhelming vote in support of independence from the Soviet Union as “a promise…to ourselves and, more importantly, to our children.” According to him, that promise has been “fulfilled” over the years. Despite “mistakes” and “serious blunders,” he added, there have never been “deadly” mistakes to “endanger the freedom and security of our state.”

“Each year of independence was efficient, full of achievements and accomplishments,” Sarkisian remarked, adding that many positive and negative experiences have helped develop Armenia’s state structures and civil society.

Sarkisian noted some of those experiences, focusing primarily on three “major economic crises,” which, according to him, have been met and overcome since Armenia declared its independence. “We overcame them and drew some lessons. Today, we are on the road toward the economic recovery and now our task is to put economic growth on a solid foundation, with the assessment of the deficiencies in the world economic model that produced the crisis,” he said.
Sarkisian also used the address as an opportunity to discuss Turkey’s ongoing “illegal blockade” of Armenia and the ongoing threat of renewed war with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“We are not enemies with anyone, but we have neighbors whose words and deeds are indisputably hostile. It is regrettable, but it’s a fact, and we have to make our steps based on that reality,” Sarkisian said, referring to Azerbaijan’s ongoing warnings to launch a new war against Armenia. “Recurrent violations of the cease-fire, explicitly provocative and terrorist activities on the line of contact always get adequate response and only double our vigilance.”

Armenia is “going down a very difficult” but correct path, Sarkisian stressed, adding that its current course will lead to “lasting peace and independence for Artsakh.”

According to the Armenian President the people of Armenia must rely on themselves for the betterment of state. This, he continued, “doesn’t mean that we have no friends, allies and partners.

“It means that we exist and that through our joint efforts, through the mental, physical and spiritual power of our nation we will bring closer new glorious moments of the Armenian nation,” he stated. “We will do it just like the heroes of our nation, who in the fight for freedom, brought victory closer by paying with their own lives.”

The national holiday was also observed by the United States and Russia, which have sizable Armenian populations of over one million residing in their countries, RFE/RL’s Armenia service reported Tuesday.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both issued separate statements to the Armenian American community on Tuesday marking the anniversary.

Obama, who sent a virtually identical letter to President Sarkisian, said, “The United States is proud of the historic ties and friendship between our countries and honored by the many contributions Americans of Armenian ancestry have made to our nation.”

Clinton, meanwhile recognized the “Many contributions to the United States” made by Armenian Americans. “We are committed to expanding our cooperation and building a promising future for all our citizens,” she added.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, meanwhile, congratulated Armenia on 19 years of independence, according to the Armenian presidential press office, reported RFE/RL. “Our citizens take pride in glorious pages of our common history, common achievements and victories,” Medvedev said.

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17 Comments

  1. HARUT said:

    let no person make a mistake about it we are creative
    we are builders not destroyers
    we plant trees
    we plant peace we encourage family values we respect our neighbours as they should respect us
    we beleive in one thing peace honor courage

  2. Ahmet said:

    you respect neigbors? by invading and claiming their territories? you have problems with all your neighbors except Iran, a Muslim country. you can live in Caucasus only thanks to Muslims.
    what an irony..

    Jesus likes armenians :-)

    • Zungi said:

      Armenians and or every other nation besides the Turkics have lived on those land you claim “invaded” for centuries and millennia. Your comment is not only slanderous but is also untrue with no logic. What is even more sad, you spend time on an Armenian site than most Armenians. Hence, you are an expansive and courious thinker with not much of a cause and little to no effectiveness. You waste time and Internet data with illogical comments and responses. Live for something other than hatred. Escape the genetic anomaly you have inherited and become civilized. Last but not least leave us alone. Git burdan. İşin gücün yok burada ve herkezin vakitini bosuna harcama. Def ol.

    • Chris said:

      We invaded nothing Ahmet. The Azeris came, underestimated us, and have been b**ching and moaning for the last 20 years or so.

      Actually, we can live in Caucasus because we’ve always been here 😉

  3. ashdod said:

    19 years of independence?

    Is Armenia really independent today, being one of few countries whose security is partly provided by Russian army? Let’s put it this way: “Armenia Celebrates 19 Years of Independence from Soviet Union, but not from Russia”

    • ArdeVast Atheian said:

      There is a case to be made for Russia to act as the bearer of the Armenian legacy in that part of the world. I feel very close kinship with the Russians. I think both of us would benefit tremendously from a sense of unity and continuation between our nations. Russia had liberated the Armenian territories twice in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s only to be told by Britain, France and Germany to back off. We were wrong in believing that the Western powers would be able to wrench our lands from the Turks like the Russians did. With Russia as an inheritor of the Armenian legacy from us, there is a chance that it can recapture the once Armenian lands from Caucasus to the Mediterranean thus realizing our Civilization’s historical claims to the region. Yes the entire Turkish nation sits on the ruins of our Western Civilization which were all part of the Roman Empire before the Islamic conquests.

  4. Raffi said:

    Raise your flags high and be proud of your achievements as Armenians. Be Determined and Focus on how we can continue to improve our Free and Independent Nation.

    God Bless Armenia and its Proud People.

  5. steve said:

    Ahmet ! you are such a complete idiot typical muslim monkey i am so sick of people like you who think whatever stupid things you think and even waste your lives away holding dumb grudges against us like we are the damn aggressors, ! last i checked once again it is YOU who just wrote “you have problems with all your neighbors except Iran, a Muslim country. you can live in Caucasus only thanks to Muslims.
    what an irony..” again about mislims and doesnt even make sence, why do armenians always have to fight to try and educate you animals, seriously man get lost ! i for one am sick of you and your kind, so back off our sites, this is one armenian you wont dare talk crap to !

  6. Satenik said:

    Hetakrkir a haskanal ,inchoo e ays tert@ ,ayd nakhamart hndooshkayin aydkan kajaleroom ,tbelov eer anvayel yev himar xosker@, bayts dranits karevor@ ayn e vor nman baner buooyt en talis vor Hayordiner@ badasxanen ays garsheli araratsin nooynbes anvayel khoskerov. Inchoo e Asbarez@ nman baner tooyladroom? Voch mek loorj tert nman drtogh kartsikner chi dbi, ayd badjar e linoom vor 99% commentner@ grven nooytits doors. Please review your policy for sanity’s sake and let’s not have cause for diversions. Shnorhakalootyoon.

  7. Van said:

    If I understand Satenig’s Armenian I agree totally. Most remarks are cool calm and thoughtful. Those few Insulting personal attacks may relieve the individual indulging him/herself but do not advance our cause, our truth and our ability to communicate beyond ourselves.

  8. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    There is a case to be made for Russia to act as the inheritor of the Armenian legacy in that part of the world. I feel very close kinship with the Russians. Both we and Russia would benefit tremendously from a sense of a historical convergence of identity and belonging. Just as Turks have assumed the mantle of the defenders of Islam throughout the 14th thru the 20th centuries, so has Russia assumed the mantle of the defender of Western Civilization in that part of the world thru the 17th to 21st centuries.

    Russia had created the state of Georgia to give itself a legitimacy of its presence in the Caucasus region.
    Russia now realizes that it was a mistake to trust an immature newbie nation with that mantle. It now wants to ally itself with the Armenians to bring about a presence of Western Civilization on the eastern part of Turkey, south of the black see all the way to the Mediterranean.

    Russia had already secured these territories for its Armenian protégé twice in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s only to be forced by Britain, France and Germany to back down.

    Armenians were wrong in believing that the British coalition would be able to secure their lands for them as the Russians had done.

    With Russia as an inheritor of the Armenian legacy there is a chance that it can secure these once Armenian lands from the Caucasus to the Mediterranean and thus realize the Western Civilization’s historical dream of re-emergence in a region that was once the cradle to its (Western) Civilization but was forced out of it with the onset of the Islamic conquests.

    Of course we will have to do all of the fighting but with backing from the West we will be able to do it just as Jews have been able to defend tiny Israel from its colossal neighbors.

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