Armenia celebrates 21 years of independence

Armenia celebrates 21 years of independence

We faced war and hunger, bread coupons and 30 minutes of electricity daily, and political instability in the past 21 years.

The third Republic of Armenia celebrates its 21st anniversary; in 1991, almost all population of Armenian Soviet Republic voted for independence. People opted for independence, perfectly realizing all hardships and challenges of the long way towards establishment of their own state.

PanARMENIAN.Net - During the past 21 years, we faced war and hunger, bread coupons and 30 minutes of electricitydaily, and political instability, which did not transform into civil war and chaos, to thedisappointment of our enemies.

We were almost on the verge of it, but collected ourselves on time. 1920 saw almost the samepicture, when the first Republic of Armenia, unable to stop the Bolsheviks, surrendered to the mercyof winners.

They say, the then-government said, resigning: “That’s ok, they are also Armenians…” Maybe thesevery words explain the relative bloodless change of power in Armenia.

We’ll not touch the First Republic here: the Bolsheviks couldn’t but drown a whole nation in bloodand have it in their own way. However, one should say that the Armenian SSR in some way differedfrom other 14 republics of the Soviet Union. The huge Diaspora, ready to lend a helping hand toits homeland at any moment – and these were not mere words, as well as celebrities of Armenianorigin spread worldwide, all this gave Armenian Soviet Republic a somewhat privileged position,if that could be possible in USSR. The rally of 1965 forced Moscow to permit the annual march tothe Genocide Memorial. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenian SSR was namely a ministry,which all other republic lacked back then. In addition, Armenia was better off than its neighbouringGeorgia and Azerbaijan.

However, this is all in the past now. Today, the third Republic of Armenia is not the last countryin the region, while its common border with Iran and Turkey attract close attention of the West.Whether it’s good or bad, is of minor importance. Geography is known to be the outcome of history.Of course, Armenia would prefer to see more adequate leaders in its neighbouring countries; still,we have what we have now.

In 21 years, Armenians experienced the first delight of triumph; this victory was maintainedand may even become a pledge for future victories as well. We created an efficient army,whatever our neighbors might say; the mere existence of independent Armenia has stuckin their throat. There is a fly in the ointment, too: our independence sometimes contradictsthe interests of the world powers, and Armenia then has to yield in certain aspects. In thiscase, there is one consolation: no absolutely independent state exists in the world.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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