YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A presentation of the Armenian translation of General Alexander Lebed’s book I Pity the Power! took place Tuesday in a fully packed Great Hall of Philharmony in Yerevan. During the meeting with representatives of Armenia’s public Lebed answered multiple questions regarding various aspects of the political situation in Russia–Russia’s policy in the region and the Armenian-Russian cooperation.
In particular–answering a question about a negative attitude of some of Russia’s political figures to the successfully developing Armenian-Russian military cooperation–Alexander Lebed said–"Dog barks–but caravan passes by!" According to him–Russia and Armenia’should be guided by this principle in response to the willingness of certain forces to hinder this cooperation.
Alexander Lebed stressed–that when forming a foreign policy the Russian leadership should realize that only those nations and peoples which for many centuries have been Russia’s friends today can be its true allies. In his speech Lebed noted the contribution of Armenia’s in construction of the Russian State–stressing that during the World War II 600,000 Armenia’s fought within the Soviet Army against fascism and 384,000 of them never returned home.
Despite multiple problems–Lebed described the prospects of Russian-Armenian relations development as being excellent. For this purpose–the horizontal relations should be developed. He stressed that "Russia’should not be an elder brother–but a partner which feels respect for Armenia’s independence and sovereignity".
Speaking of the problem of Nagorno Karabakh he noted that Russia’s stance on this issue should be shaped proceeding from Karabakh’s and Armenia’s pro-Russian orientation.
Alexander Lebed’s and his spouse’s arrival in Armenia has been organized by the Center for the Russian-Armenian Initiatives (Moscow) and the Union of the Armenian-Russian Cooperation and Revival (Yerevan). The translation and publication of the book in Armenian was also organized in association with the above organizations.
The presentation was also attended by Head of the Yerevan Institute of Foreign Languages Souren Zolian–President of the Center for the Russian-Armenian Initiatives Arkady Vardanian–publicist Zoriy Balayan–academician Levon Mkrtychian and others.
Lebed is supposed to stay in Armenia for two days. On April 24 he is to lay wreath to the Genocide Memorial at Dzidzernagabert.
Lebed visited Etchmiadzin Tuesday–and met with Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin I.
During their meeting the Catholicos and Lebed stressed the centuries-old friendship between the people of Russia and Armenia–as well as close contacts between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church.
The two leaders agreed that the church should remain out of the political realm. The meeting–during which Lebed presented a copy of his book in Armenian–was attended by Archbishop Nerses Pozapalian–president of the Moscow Center of Russian-Armenian Initiatives Arkady Vardanian and writer and publicist Zory Balayan.