Evaluating L. A. Armenian Consul General’s Assertions on Armenian-Turkish Protocols

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Republished in the USA Armenian Life Magazine weekly, #1188 January 9, 2009
Stepan Sargsyan
“ARARAT” Center for Strategic Research

For the first time during these latest negotiations surrounding the Armenian-Turkish conflict an Armenian official engaged in a public debate to defend the Protocols and fielded unscripted questions directly from the audience in Los Angeles. The U.S.-based Diaspora organization called ARPA Institute had organized a debate between the Honorable Consul General of the Republic of Armenia to Los Angeles Grigor Hovhannissian and two Diaspora academics. Dr. Richard Hovannisian moderated the debate. The Consul General deserves a lot of praise for agreeing to discuss the Armenian-Turkish conflict and the recently signed Protocols in such a public forum, despite the persistent efforts by his superiors in Armenia, namely President Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan, to avoid having any meaningful public discussion with the Armenian people regarding this issue. It must be noted that a lot of heartache and mistrust could have been avoided had these discussions been held prior to agreeing to the Roadmap and drafting the Protocols.

Articles describing the debate and the ideas that were exchanged have been written and may continue to be written 1 . Whoever has followed this process since the beginning and is intimately familiar with the various arguments put forth by the supporting and opposing sides can attest that nothing markedly new was added during the debate. Before delving into the details of his speech, the Consul General referred to the unfavorable economic forecasts offered by the opposing camp as “amateur.” In fact, the discussion of the economic benefits of opening the factual border between Armenia and Turkey took the majority of the 15 minutes allotted to the Consul. What stood out, though, was Mr. Hovhannissian’s extensive use of technical terms and specialized vocabulary when referring to key economic concepts not commonly known by the general public. It shall be left to the Consul General to explain why he chose this tactic (use of unfamiliar terminology and concepts) for the debate, given that the goal was to alleviate the concerns of a bewildered Armenian public, which, on average, would not have been expected to know the economic definitions of consumer surplus and comparative advantage. However, his incorrect interpretations of those key economic concepts and the resulting unfounded conclusions cannot be left unaddressed and must be scrutinized. This brief analysis will attempt to do just that by evaluating the Consul General’s own interpretations and applications.

Mr. Hovhannissian’s economic arguments can be reduced to the following:

  • Open border and imports from Turkey will weaken the Armenian oligarchy and break-up its tight grip on the Armenian economy;
  • Lack of competition kills Armenia’s comparative advantage;
  • Cheaper imports from Turkey will increase consumer surplus in Armenia; and
  • Turkey offers “more predictable and better” trade routes.

It must also be noted that Mr. Hovhannissian made a direct linkage between the Protocols and Armenia’s negative economic growth in 2009. According to him, Armenia experienced an 18% fall in its gross domestic product 2 (GDP) in 2009; therefore, the government had to resort to all means to lessen the negative effects of such a severe economic contraction. While it is true that in 2009 the Armenian economy shrank by 18%, it had absolutely no effect on the rationale for initiating this latest round of the Armenian-Turkish negotiations. While President Serzh Sargsyan made the negotiations public in June of 2008, this new phase had started with the advent of the “secret” Armenian-Turkish talks in Switzerland as early as the fall of 2007, when the Armenian economy was still growing in double digits. Justifying the Armenian-Turkish negotiations with the 18% decline of 2009 does not at all elevate the Consul General’s argument above those “amateur” analyses he has come across in the Armenian press.
Thus, let us review each of the economic assertions outlined above.

Break Up of Oligarchy

During his speech the Consul General reiterated that the opening of the factual border will weaken and break up the Armenian oligarchic system. The specific steps that would lead to the demise of the oligarchy were not outlined, but the general line of reasoning was implied: the opening of the border will allow the inflow of cheaper goods from Turkey, which in turn will erode the monopolistic hold of powerful Armenian businessmen on the domestic market.

If a particular set of assumptions are selected, the simplified “world” of economic models may actually yield the outcome predicted by the Consul General. Under the right circumstances, the emergence of another source of imports, especially cheaper sources, will create competition to the existing monopoly and reduce its influence on the market along with that of the oligarchs. However, this is where the problem arises – assumptions. Economic models are used to analyze real-world issues, because they allow the economists to simplify the reality by making certain assumptions. If incorrect assumptions are made, the model will predict outcomes that will never occur in the real world. In our example one underlying assumption is that the Armenian legal system functions properly, there is no collusion, no corruption, etc. Unfortunately, that is not the reality in Armenia today.

The Armenian businessmen are entrenched in the government and maintain relationships with government officials that resemble to those of business partnerships. Let us assume that the factual Armenian-Turkish border is opened and a new source of imports emerges. All imported goods have to pass through the customs (either at border checkpoints or at airports), where a customs official determines who can import, what can be imported and at what price. In other words, the concentration and structure of the domestic markets of imported goods are ultimately shaped not by the status of the border and market forces, but by the decisions of the customs officials. Even if all the borders of the Republic of Armenia were relieved of their blockades, the customs employees would still make the decision regarding who, what and at what price. In the sad reality of Armenia the customs officials are directly linked to powerful Armenian businessmen and make decisions not with the interests and laws of the state in mind, but considering those of their oligarchic patrons. Often, the head and other senior officials of the customs are themselves wealthy businessmen with business interests in various domestic markets of imported goods.

The example of the coffee importing company Royal Armenia is telling. Senior customs officials had offered the directors of the company to register the imported coffee at the customs at lower prices in return for sharing the resulting extra profit3. After refusing the “offer” and making it public, the directors had been charged with various trumped up charges and arrested. Even the presiding judge, who had sensationally acquitted the directors, had been dismissed and the directors had been arrested again. This case shows that the state of internal governance in Armenia and the widespread corruption and collusion among government officials do not even allow to fully utilize the opportunities offered by the existing open borders for de-monopolizing and diversifying the domestic market. Yet, such cases are widespread. It is of no secret that one of the sons of former President Robert Kocharian had a virtual monopoly in the import of cell phones. Similarly, another oligarch, Samvel Aleksanian, holds the monopoly over the imports of sugar and other commodities. Had others been allowed to freely engage in entrepreneurship, import/export and other economic activity, the current oligarchs would not have the immense pricing powers, which in turn translate into enormous profits. Does any customs official have the stamina to refuse a request from a mighty oligarch, let alone the son of a president, to create barriers to entry to other potential businessmen? The monopolistic structure of the market in Armenia is nurtured from within and is not necessarily conditioned by external factors. If the opportunities offered by the existing Armenian-Georgian border are not being fully utilized to combat the oligarchs and diversify the importers (as the case of Royal Armenia shows), what notable difference would the addition of the Armenian-Turkish factual border make? The Turkish soldiers may allow imports to flow in from the Turkish side, but it is the Armenian customs officials who will decide who, what and at what price can transport those imports into the Armenian side. Any added measure of competition resulting from the opening of the blockaded factual border will be stifled by the corrupt Armenian officials at the request (and adequate compensation) of those very same oligarchs. Everyone became very optimistic when an attempt was made to clean up the corruption within the Armenian customs after the election of Serzh Sargsyan. Unfortunately, the current situation is even worse than it was during the Kocharian administration. Therefore, there is no indication that anything has changed or will change in the very near future.

Returning to the Consul General’s prediction, the opening of the Armenian-Turkish factual border will shake the foundation of the Armenian oligarchy and erode their power if and only if the internal governance in Armenia is improved, corruption is eradicated and collusion of businessmen and government officials is addressed. Without it the all-powerful Armenian oligarchs will continue controlling the levers capable of neutralizing anything that threatens their privileged position. In these circumstances, it would be wiser to exhaust all the internal means of combating the oligarchy before turning to external factors. Otherwise, this argument sounds awfully similar to the Azerbaijani leadership’s preposterous claim that the lack of solution in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is what hampers progress in democratic governance, respect of human rights and freedom of speech in Azerbaijan.

Competition and Comparative Advantage

In his assertions the Consul General also referred to the concept of comparative advantage. Mr. Hovhannissian claimed that the lack of competition kills Armenia’s comparative advantage. This statement is at odds with the definition of that key concept, which is the ability of an individual or country to produce a good at lower cost or more efficiently than competitors4. Originally, the concept of comparative advantage was proposed by David Ricardo, who used the examples of Portugal and England to show that Portugal was relatively more productive in producing wine thanks to its climate and geography, while those same characteristics made England relatively more productive in the production of wool. Therefore, the relative advantage in the production of a certain good – comparative advantage – is determined by innate or internally developed capabilities. External factors, such as trade or competition, only exploit the benefits offered by the existing comparative advantage. Countries generally attain comparative advantage in a specific industry thanks to the climate, the geography, the existence of natural resources, relative abundance of labor and capital, technology, etc. No matter how hard Armenia competes with Saudi Arabia or how many open border crossings the two countries share, Armenia will not achieve a comparative advantage over Saudi Arabia in the production of oil. The Consul General’s statement implies that this is possible.

What are Armenia’s comparative advantages? This requires an extensive review of the various factors mentioned above. However, it may be noted that during Soviet times Armenia excelled in industries which required solid intellectual grounding and highly skilled workforce. As in the previous discussion regarding the oligarchy, this economic concept implies that spurring competition by relieving the blockade will not improve Armenia’s comparative advantage if the country does not already possess one. To develop one, the Armenian officials must turn their attention to the internal resources and capabilities, draft plans and policies to further develop the capabilities where Armenia has the most potential to excel and implement those plans consistently over time. In addition, it is not uncommon to use different protectionist measures, such as trade barriers and tariffs, to support a capability and give it a chance to evolve into a comparative advantage, especially in technological sectors. However, this would conflict with another statement that Mr. Hovhannissian made, which asserted that “open borders and zero tariffs are the way to go.” This motto will be further examined in the following section.

Armenian Consumer Surplus

One of the key economic concepts referred to by the Consul General in his speech was consumer surplus. Specifically, he argued that the import of cheaper goods from Turkey will increase the consumer surplus in Armenia. In order to understand how and why this occurs, let us review the economic definition of consumer surplus, which is “… the difference between the highest price a consumer is willing to pay and the price the consumer actually pays5.” For example, if a tomato paste costs $3, but the consumer is willing (and able) to pay $4, then the consumer surplus is $1, the difference between the $4 and $3. Accordingly, if the tomato paste can be imported from Turkey more cheaply, at $2, the consumer surplus in Armenia will increase to $2, which is the difference between the $4 and the new price of $2. Clearly, in such a construct the Armenian consumer is the clear winner. Unfortunately, this is only the first half of the story.

Let us assume that the economies of Armenia and Turkey consist of the production of the same single good. When reviewing consumer surplus, one should also consider the producer surplus, both of which comprise the total economic surplus in an economy. Similar to the consumer surplus, the producer surplus is the difference between the lowest price a firm would be willing to accept and the price it actually receives6. If a good can be imported from Turkey more cheaply than it can be produced in Armenia, the Armenian producer will be pushed out of the domestic market, resulting in the severe reduction (or the disappearance) of the Armenian producer surplus. To be more precise, the lost Armenian producer surplus will be shared by the Armenian consumers and the Turkish economy (through their exporters). Along with the Armenian producer the local jobs provided by that producer will disappear as well. Thus, if during the first phase of this process the Armenian consumer appeared to be a winner, during the second phase the consumer is worse off, because without a job his income shrinks. Despite the lower price of the imported good, the Armenian consumer surplus will decrease almost by definition, because the highest price the consumer is willing (and able) to pay will be significantly lower due to lower income (or the lack thereof). In summary, during the first phase the Armenian consumers and Turkish exporters overtake and share the Armenian producer surplus, as a result, reducing the total economic surplus in Armenia. During the second phase, the Armenian consumer surplus is reduced due to shrinking consumer incomes, which results from job loss. This, in turn, reduces the total Armenian economic surplus even further.

What is the implication for the Armenian economy? Let us take the example of the agricultural sector. The Turkish agricultural sector is stronger and more developed (i.e. more mechanized, more plains and fertile land, etc.) than the Armenian agricultural sector. In other words, Turkey has a comparative advantage over Armenia in the production of agricultural goods. In case of open borders and unrestricted trade Turkey’s comparatively higher efficiency in agricultural production has the potential to cripple the Armenian agricultural sector, which employs almost 50% of the labor force in Armenia. Unfortunately, this is also true in the case of other sectors of the Armenian economy with more or less meaningful economic activity. Turkey commands the advantage in most. Combine the impact from the agricultural sector with the similar impact from other industries, such as food processing, textile, construction, and one finds a recipe for social disaster. The income and job generation from potential electricity sales to Turkey will not be sufficient to compensate and soften the economic pain. To avert a potential social disaster the government will be compelled to impose tariffs in an effort to recreate the situation prior to the opening of the border and buy time for the Armenian economy to develop sectors in which the country possesses comparative advantage. Let us be clear. It is irrational to continue indefinitely sustaining sectors of economy in which Armenia does not hold the comparative advantage. It only perpetuates the inefficiency and wastes the limited valuable resources. Therefore, imposing tariffs to support those inefficient industries is only a temporary measure designed to soften the pain associated with the transitioning of resources from inefficient sectors of the economy (i.e. killing off industries) to those sectors where Armenia is more efficient (i.e. holds comparative advantage). Without the tariffs or other protectionist measures intended to soften the blow, Armenia will become subject to the consequences of a “shock therapy,” or the situation of the early 1990’s in the former USSR countries.

Another activity that might have eased somewhat the negative economic impact would have been the potential establishment of new Turkish-owned businesses within Armenia to produce the imported goods locally. However, this activity is constrained by the very fact that Armenia does not possess the comparative advantage in the production of the imported goods; otherwise, these goods would continue to be produced locally and would not have to be imported from Turkey in the first place. Therefore, the number and size of such enterprises will be limited and conditioned by the cost of transportation from Turkey to Armenia and the amount of Armenian tariffs. What is ignored in a strictly economic analysis is the ubiquitous security threat posed by foreign-owned businesses. The preceding discussion has assumed that Turkey will allow the market forces to shape the economic relationship between Armenia and Turkey. Unfortunately, the review of Turkey’s hostile policies towards Armenia during the past two decades leaves little room for such an optimistic expectation6. It would be more realistic and pragmatic to expect that Turkey will shape the economic relationship between the two countries so that it is detrimental to the long term viability of the Armenian state. After all, there is no indication that Turkey has abandoned the old plans of preventing the emergence of a self-reliant and truly independent Armenian statehood. At all times and in all countries foreign-owned corporations have collaborated with the intelligence services of the countries of their origin. That is why Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan’s invitation extended to Turkish businesses to participate in the construction of Armenia’s new nuclear power plant was as incomprehensible and dangerous as President Serzh Sargsyan’s call to Turkish President Abdullah Gul to assist in the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Currently, we are all witnesses to the kind of assistance Turkey is providing in that issue.
The logical question is then whether an open border with tariffs is better than a blockaded border. Imposing tariffs on an open Armenian-Turkish factual border will shift the revenue from the Georgian customs to the Armenian state coffers. First of all, since Armenia is compliant with WTO rules and regulations, that organization’s limitation on the amounts and types of tariffs that Armenia can impose must be observed. In fact, as part of accession to the WTO Armenia pledged to reduce or eliminate certain types of subsidies to the agricultural sector. Therefore, in the case of an open border Armenia will be limited in available options to restrict or control the flow of goods through the Armenian-Turkish factual border. Second, in assessing whether this additional revenue from tariffs will add to the bottom line of Armenia we must consider all the costs (explicit and implicit) associated with the Protocols and an open border. Here are just a few of them:

  • Long-term costs associated with the serious compromises made by the Armenian side (recognition of the de-facto borders and the historical commission);
  • Additional cost of policing an open border;
  • Increased cost incurred by the national security services of Armenia in preventing the potential economic and other types of hostile actions by an enemy state. This also includes covert actions by Azerbaijan through the open Armenian-Turkish factual border;
  • Potential demographic challenges arising from the ease of migration of Armenian workers to Turkey and migration of Turks to Armenia under various pretexts (work, “repatriation,” etc). Let us note that the groundwork for a massive resettlement of Turks as well as Kurds in Armenia is being laid right now thanks to the “discovery” of millions of “Muslim Armenians” or “Hidden Armenians7, 8 .”
  • Increased cost of countering the elevated levels of informational-psychological warfare, this time conducted within Armenia by Turkey and, indirectly, by Azerbaijan. It must be noted that Armenia’s weak defenses against information warfare and propaganda will be unable to cope with the total disorientation and loss of vigilance among Armenians caused by intermarriages with Turks, employment under Turkish managers, business partnerships and other relations with citizens of Turkey. Here are just a few examples:
    – Armenian authorities tolerate and even promote the use of the word genocide in quotation marks in reference to the Armenian Genocide within Armenia. Only a few years ago the Armenian public was outraged at an Israeli ambassador who dared to doubt the Armenian Genocide and demanded that she be designated a persona non grata. Yet, already in 2008 the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute published a book in Armenia in which there was an explicit denial of the Armenian Genocide by a Turkish author. The extent of the success by unfriendly foreign propaganda became obvious when an Armenian judge, who presided over the first ever lawsuit against genocide denial in Armenia brought by the “ARARAT” Center for Strategic Research against the Caucasus Institute, made a decision to suspend the case, implicitly agreeing that using the word genocide in quotation marks, referring to the Armenian Genocide as “allegations” and calling it subject to “serious doubts … and intense discussion …” did not constitute genocide denial in Armenia 9 . To add insult to injury, immediately after the suspension of this case in the Court of First Instance, the Turkish genocide denier himself was invited to Armenia to participate in a seminar attended, among others, by Hayk Demoyan, the director of the Yerevan Institute-Museum of Genocide;
    – The gaping holes in Armenia’s defenses resulted in the organization of “Days of Azerbaijan” in Armenia in 2007 by some members of Armenia’s intelligentsia (e.g. Ashot Bleyan, Georgiy Vanyan), while the Azerbaijani leaders were ordering the destruction of the cross stones in Jugha, the beheading of the Armenian officer in Budapest, issuing threatening statements to Armenia, referring to the territory of the Republic of Armenia as Western Azerbaijan, etc.
    Turkey will be more subtle, yet, far more damaging than Azerbaijan. Let us not forget that on the eve of both 1915 and 1988 the Armenians and Turks/Azeris were in “brotherly” relations. What followed were the Armenian Genocide and the massacres of Sumgait, Baku, Maragha.
    Without delving into the numerical detail it is obvious that these costs will far outweigh any additional revenue from the imposition of tariffs.

Now, let us return to the statement made by the Consul General regarding “open borders and zero tariffs.” As the Consul had correctly stated, this is the official line of the Armenian government, which is not yet achieved, but is religiously pursued. Generally, no one argues that open borders and zero tariffs are wrong. As stated earlier, sustenance of inefficient industries through protectionism (e.g. tariffs, quotas, etc.) wastes the limited valuable resources that could be invested in sectors where Armenia possesses comparative advantage. However, in certain instances protectionism offers a path towards increased competitiveness. For example, the European governments continued subsidizing the Airbus project for years until it was able to stand on its own and directly compete with Boeing. Industries which require time and large investments to acquire a competitive edge necessitate the use of such protectionism. On the other hand, just recently the European Union imposed new tariffs on aluminum imports from various countries, including from Armenia. While this tariff on aluminum imports is without merit and rife with criticism, it still underscores the fact that the motto “open borders and zero tariffs” is not perceived so unambiguously even by one of its most wealthy and ardent supporters – the European Union. Yet, when the Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan was asked about the dangers posed to the Armenian economy by the more developed and powerful Turkish economy, his advice was essentially to sink or swim. In terms of a sport analogy popular in our Foreign Ministry as of late, the Armenian Prime Minister’s advice is equivalent to putting an untrained amateur lightweight boxer in a fight with a super heavyweight professional boxer and asking the amateur to win the match if he really wants to become a boxer.

Predictable and Better Trade Routes

One of the final arguments put forth by the Consul General posited that Turkey offered “more predictable and better” trade routes. One would think that Armenia’s recent experience with Turkey would have dispelled any notion of that country being a reliable partner of Armenia. Turkey closed off the factual border at a time when Armenia was in most need of it. The centrally planned Soviet economy had not yet adjusted to the new realities and closed borders, shortages of all commodities plagued Armenia. However, this did not stop Turkey from using the border as a pressure point to force Armenia into geopolitical compromises (e.g. surrender of the newly liberated region of Karvajar as well as Artsakh at large). When qualifying the Turkish trade routes as predictable and secure, do the Armenian officials recall these historical events? Turkey has not pledged that it will stop its hostile policies towards Armenia. In fact, it continues to pursue its old policy of forcing Armenia into making concessions in the issue of Artsakh. Yet, our officials and experts have already dubbed the Turkish routes “predictable and better” and discounted the need for alternative, reserve routes. Has the Armenian government acquired a newly found confidence in the genuine intentions of Ankara? What assurances do we have that during one such inopportune moment, as in 1993, Turkey will not try to force her will upon Armenia by threatening to close the border, this time a functioning border fully integrated into the Armenian economy? As to how can a territory with a raging Kurdish insurgency and heavy military presence be considered a “more predictable and better” trade route, where even the heavily protected Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline can be blown up (whether orchestrated or not), is perhaps a redundant question…


At the conclusion of the debate, moderator Dr. Richard Hovannisian, historian by training, shared with the audience what he had learned from an Indian student during an undergraduate seminar. Qualifying it with “I don’t know if I agree with it”, the professor proceeded to say that, according to the Indian student, opening the border would be a good thing, because it would destroy the oligarchs along with a part of the Armenian economy. Nevertheless, the student had opined, this would instill competition and compel Armenians to develop their “intellectual” export industries. The student had supported his view with India’s example, which had stopped protective tariffs and had developed a high-tech industry.

All the theories advanced by the Indian student have already been evaluated in the paragraphs above. To supplement what has already been said, India’s high tech industry grew not so much thanks to the abolition of all tariffs, but rather the elimination of the bureaucratic hassle involved in starting a new business and internal corruption. These very same problems exist in the Armenian economy and need to be abolished. However, the Indian student’s insights are not the reason for the inclusion of his quotation in this analysis. The mention of him at the conclusion of the debate symbolized one of the most glaring deficiencies in Armenia’s treatment of the Armenian-Turkish conflict – the lack of serious scientific study of the conflict and professional approach. As Dr. Armen Ayvazyan notes: “… the policies and approaches displayed by the Armenian political elite and social-political thought towards the [Turkish-Armenian Conflict] are still amateur in nature6.” During the discussion of what may likely be one of the most fateful documents in this generation’s lifetime, the concerned Armenian public was served the “insights” of an undergraduate Indian student, despite the fact that any number of economists at the UCLA, where Dr. Richard Hovannisian holds the chair of modern Armenian history, could have been approached for a scholarly opinion. Rest assured that if nothing else, the deep veneration for Armen Alchian, a distinguished economist and an icon in the UCLA’s department of economics, would have compelled any faculty member to respect such a request and offer an expert opinion. The incorrect interpretations of key economic concepts and incorrect or incomplete conclusions presented during this debate are yet another expression of Armenian leadership’s unscientific approach to the Armenian-Turkish conflict. As opposed to making a decision based on the findings of serious scholarly research, the political leadership makes a situational decision hoping for “quick fixes” to serious geopolitical and economic problems, after which pseudo-scientific and other arguments are sought to justify it.


  1. Asbarez.com, “Armenia’s Consul General Comes Face-to-Face with American-Armenians,” retrieved from http://www.asbarez.com/2009/12/23/the-semantics-of-the-turkish-armenian-protocols-discussed-in-the-valley/
  2. The GDP is the value of all the goods and services produced in a given a country during a year.
  3. “Criminal Case Against Royal Armenia’s Management Sent To Court,” retrieved from http://www.armeniandiaspora.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-66885.html
    “Armenia: Presidential Dismissal of Judge Sparks Outcry over Judicial Independence Issue,” retrieved from http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav101807.shtml
  4. Hubbard, R. Glenn “Microeconomics,” Pearson Prentice Hall 2006, p. 247.
  5. Hubbard, R. Glenn “Microeconomics,” Pearson Prentice Hall 2006, p. 100.
  6. Ayvazyan, Armen “Concise Structural Analysis of Turkish-Armenian Conflict,” retrieved from http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=253. This analysis lists the many levels of hostile policy actively carried out by Turkey towards Armenia.
  7. Melkonyan, Ruben “The Problem of Islamized Armenians in Turkey,” (in Armenian) article in the “21st Century” quarterly, issue #1, 2008.
  8. Ayvazyan, Armen “There are no Muslim Armenians”, (in Armenian) retrieved from http://www.ararat-center.org/?art=34&l=arm&p=22. This article was originally published in Russian in Golos Armenii newspaper on 16.12.2008; Nalchajyan, Albert “Ethnic Identity or National Self-defense”, retrieved from http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=172.
  9. Refer to the following links for the text of the first lawsuit against the denial of the Armenian genocide in Armenia and the articles on the court’s verdict: http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=325 and http://www.ardarutyun.org/?p=741.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Evaluating L. A. Armenian Consul General’s Assertions on Armenian-Turkish Protocols”

  1. Haro Mherian, PhD Mathematicson 29 Dec 2009 at 8:28 pm

    All of the people involved in the debate were amateurs. It is ironic that professionals in the field were not informed about the debate until when the debate was in process. I heard about the debate from my daughter, who was present and did not know enough about the topic to call me to the meeting.
    I was particularly cracking in laughter reading Dr. Richard Hovanissians answer about his Indian student story about the open borders and economy. One cannot but imagine how amateur they were by talking about an analogy between a 1.3 billion population country like India with 2.9 million population country like Armenia. Only the demography factor can turn global economy models upside down.
    Opening the border will probably strengthen the oligarchs, and obviously destroy the remaining local industries. After that phase, it will easily destroy the oligarchs, as well. But the destruction of the oligarchs will happen only after Armenia is declared a de facto colony of Turkey.
    Concerning the comparative advantages in Armenia, currently there are none, if we base our logic on open borders that is. In other words, the only comparative advantage that Armenia currently has is the “Closed Borders”. Once you open them, there are no further key elements left. Concerning the soviet era intellect power resource, this advantage has long gone, and most of the human resource have already settled in USA (Texas and LA), Europe or Moscow. I fought 10 years to stop this leakage to no avail. By opening the factual (or diplomatic) borders between Armenian and Turkey, the remaining few will also leave the country and migrate into Turkey (most probably to Stambul and Ankara).
    About consumer surplus, Stepan is right to the point, and in fact the phase change will happen in less than 6 months.

  2. Haro Mherian, PhD Mathematicson 29 Dec 2009 at 9:11 pm

    In terms of protectionist measure, there is still an issue of Canadian Engineers leaving the country from Canada to USA. For these engineers, the only status to travel from Canada to USA is Tourist Visa. Some new engineers, have found a way to fake themselves as non-engineers to bypass this measure.

  3. Nazar Nazaron 08 Oct 2010 at 2:08 pm

    The guy, Grigor Hovhannissian, today if you asked him was that him who said what he said at the public debate? His reply would be in line with what you would expect from a child that has been caught red handed, “honestly it was not me sir”. Nevertheless some credit has to go to him to have been, if I am not mistaken, the only one representing our government that actually had the guts to stand for his government’s decision. As for the “academics” such as Dr. Hovannisian, I guess the only ones that continue to believe what that man has to say is of any value or good for Armenia or Armenians, are unborn children and mentally infirm residing in mental institutions.

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