Kocharian and his political allies presented various chapters of the extensive document at a meeting with several hundred members of their alliance called Hayastan (Armenia) held in Yerevan. Journalists were not allowed to attend the meeting.
Kocharian focused on what he regards as the key challenges facing Armenia, saying that its current government’s policies on defense and national security have been an “utter failure.”
“The first necessary action we will take in the area of security will be to restore the combat-readiness of the armed forces, not for waging a war but for ensuring dignified peace,” he said in a speech. “There is just no other option. The army is the backbone of a country’s security.”
Kocharian went on to denounce the current government’s foreign policy as “cheap trickery” that has alienated Armenia’s allies and partners. “We will restore confidence in our country as a predictable and understandable partner,” he said.
“The defeat in the war must not inhibit us through an inferiority complex … We do have a potential for quick recovery and will do everything to make that an important and vital issue for our allies and, first and foremost, Russia as well,” added the ex-president.
Kocharian made a case for Armenia’s “much deeper integration” with Russia shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered a ceasefire deal that stopped the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in November. He said only Moscow can help Armenia rebuild its armed forces and confront post-war security challenges.
Putin reportedly spoke with Kocharian by phone when the latter visited Moscow in late March. A Kremlin spokesman said afterwards that that the two men maintain a “warm rapport” and talk to each other “quite often.”
Kocharian’s bloc is expected to be one of the main challengers of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s Civil Contract party in the parliamentary elections scheduled for June 20. The ex-president set up the bloc on May 10 together with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and another opposition party, Resurgent Armenia.