Armenian Center for National and International Studies
75 Yerznkian Street
Yerevan 0033, Armenia
Tel: (+374 - 10) 52.87.80 or 27.48.18
Fax: (+374 - 10) 52.48.46
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

April 29, 2010

ACNIS Assesses the Recent Unrest in Kyrgyzstan:
Are There Lessons For Armenia?

Yerevan--Following the recent unrest in Kyrgyzstan that resulted in
the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiev's government, the
Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today
convened a roundtable discussion to analyze the situation in
Kyrgyzstan and to assess the implications, if any, for Armenia. The
roundtable was attended by over forty guests, including
representatives from the diplomatic community, international
organizations and a number of prominent Armenians experts, analysts
and journalists.

Extending his greetings to the participants, ACNIS Administrative
Director Dr. Karapet Kalenchian noted that `the events in Kyrgyzstan
are of serious concern for the post-Soviet countries, including
Armenia and its ruling circles.' In Kalenchian's view, `it has now
become clear that `stability,' about which our authorities like to
talk a lot, can be breached very quickly and unexpectedly. And in the
case of Armenia, which is surrounded by enemies, this peril is
increased twofold.'

The first presentation was by Grzegorz Michalski, the Head of the
Politico-Military Programme at the OSCE Office in Yerevan, who offered
a broad overview of the situation in Kyrgyzstan. Although his
comments were unofficial and did not necessarily represent the
position of the OSCE, he noted the geopolitical significance of
Kyrgyzstan and also discussed the role of the country's two foreign
military bases, the American base at Manas and the Russian military
base at Kant. He stressed that `the strategic interest by many
outside powers, like Russia and the US, means that events in
Kyrgyzstan are especially important.' He also added that `the
establishment of stability and security are the most serious
challenges now facing the new Kyrgyz government.' Michalski has
extensive experience in the region and is recognized as an expert on
Turkey. He has also served as the Head of the OSCE Mission's
Tskhinvali Field Office.

Following Michalski, ACNIS Senior Analyst Manvel Sargsian analyzed,
from several angles, the large-scale turmoil that started in
Kyrgyzstan on April 7, 2010, and the process that led to the Kyrgyz
government's overthrow. According to Sargsian, these events first and
foremost are qualitatively different than the post-election `velvet
revolutions' of the years past. `It is difficult to say that what
occurred was an ordinary political revolution, because it resulted in
the collapse of the country's entire state system,' he noted. `In
actual fact, what happened in Kyrgyzstan is a people's insurrection,
and the new forces that came to power have little impact on the
people's frame of mind. In addition, the events in Kyrgyzstan are
devoid of the `Western trace,' which has now become fairly ordinary
and, in principle, a new political phenomenon is evident whose
repercussions can later be felt in other post-Soviet countries.'

For his part, ACNIS Director Richard Giragosian presented an analysis
of the unrest in Kyrgyzstan and noted that the main reasons for the
uprising stemmed from three factors. First, the Kyrgyz people were
seriously disappointed by the failure of the Bakiev government to keep
its promises to implement real democratic reform and fight corruption.
Second, the population's demands for real change and greater democracy
were ignored by the Kyrgyz authorities. And third, the mounting
pressure from the country's economic crisis only fueled the people's
desperation for change. `Most significantly, each of these three
factors is now present in Armenia as well, although to varying
degrees. And these are the lessons for Armenia from what happened in
Kyrgyzstan,' Giragosian warned.

The presentations were then followed by a series of questions and
answers, and featured a lively exchange among the discussants.

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The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is
a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan,
Armenia. As an independent, objective institution committed to
conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to
raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public
engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater
and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the
institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia's first
Minister of Foreign Affairs. Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has
acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional
independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national
and international policy issues.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or
27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email [email protected] or [email protected];
or visit

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress