– Mr. Tsarukyan, 2022 is coming to an end. Shall we start with summaring the main achievements and problems of the year for Armenia?
– I would not like to summarize anything now. Normally, it should be done under peaceful conditions, under conditions when it is possible to make long-term plans for life. I just can not understand what and how can be summarized, when our State is facing an existential threat, when just recently, in September there was a war near Jermuk city, when Artsakh is under siege, when there is a constant threat of a new war. Under such conditions, it is maybe possible to talk about progress, growth in this or that field, but I will refrain from doing so. As long as there is an acute security problem in the country, as long as there is a danger of war and losses, all the State resources and the thoughts of the people must be directed towards neutralizing these dangers. No matter whether the calendar year is concluded or not, the problems will remain unsolved. For me, the upcoming holidays are an opportunity to communicate with relatives and friends for a few days, but at the festive table, as in the houses of hundreds of thousands of our compatriots, the topic of conversation will be our country, the situation of our Homeland.
– However, how would You characterize the current state of our country?
– There is a lot of work to be done. An indescribable volume of work. In all areas, at all levels. There is a requirement to work day and night. There is a need of competence and persistence. As soon as we start working, new opportunities will appear. I have been asked this question many times during my public life, and I always gave the same answer. Apart from working with competence and persistence , I do not know any other formula for success. Maybe others know, but I do not. But I know that if one formulates the problems correctly, sets goals clearly, works hard, has competent teams, there will be positive results. This applies to private business, as well as to social problems and state issues.
– Years ago You said You do not consider yourself a politician in a classic sense of the word, do you think so now? Maybe that is the reason why your viewpoint often differs from other politicians’?
– Not only it has not changed, but it has been strenghthened. I can not talk for days and years just for the sake of talking. I cannot speak about things I do not understand; I can not promise things,I believe, I will not be able to do. My day starts with greeting workers and villagers, all day long I am trying to settle work problems of various complexities . I love to communicate with our scientists, artists, cultural figures regularly and discuss various issues. I am one of the few persons who is aware of public thoughts, people’s problems and worries on a daily basis. There is another important issue: My entire conscious life has passed under the burden of responsibility towards a large number of people. Most politicians have no idea what it is. Regardless of all your difficulties, your mood, the situation in the country and around it, you are responsible to thousands of people and their families. Every month. And those people should not suffer because of your problems. They must have a job, get a salary, raise their children, support their parents, treat the sick, get married, etc. and they all look at you. This is a huge responsibility, and it also separates me from the image of a “classic politician”.
– Recently, some political activists accuse you of building various things. “Tsarukyan builds this here” and “something there”. What will you say to those who say such things?
– I answered that question in one of my interviews: Tsarukyan family has built and will build factories for people to work, buildings for people to live and to form families and have children, we will build educational institutions, we will create workplaces so that people have jobs and live comfortably. If building is a crime, how do you imagine the development of the State? How do you imagine the process of reducing poverty, creating jobs, increasing the budget, increasing pensions and salaries, strengthening the army, building new roads, etc.?
– After the war and defeat, what is your formula for recovery as a Nation, as a State: working and building?
– Working is the formula to any success. In order to recover after the war as a State, as a Nation we need new ideas. Armenians scattered all over the world need ideas that unite us and bind to each other firmly. I constantly communicate with different Armenians from around the world: they are in a kind of uncertainty. This is a dangerous process. Even our compatriots who are successful in life, who have great achievements in their fields, no longer feel the same as before. Indeed, there is an atmosphere of uncertainty and depression. But we are indeed a nation with great potential, giving a world-renowned faces, and I am sure that with the right ideas and work, the Armenian people will straighten their back again.
– What do You think, will the task of straightening the back of the Nation fall to the next generations?
– No, it is the problem of all generations, it is the problem of patriotic people of all generations. It is another matter that we really need a new national elite with new people, new ideas, a new worldview, new, fresh, 21st century mindset. By the way, if you have noticed, I have always encouraged this approach at the “Kentron” TV station. I myself do not get involved in any substantive, technical issues. Once I helped to create good conditions, and there gathered good, competent people, who are free to decide on substantive policy issues. There may be moments when something is not to my liking, but that is life, and it is under such conditions that new faces and new ideas are formed. And in all areas, on a national scale, I believe that there should be such a process.
– Speaking about the perspectives of the State and the Nation, it is impossible to avoid the subject of Artsakh. You regularly do some projects in Artsakh. Is it a call of the heart or a conscious approach?
– Both, one and the other. The situation demands working wholeheartedly and with a cold brain. We should have our own idea of a peaceful Armenian Artsakh under new conditions and should work in that direction. As much as something new is built, a new family is created, a new child is born, a new job is created in Artsakh, we will have a chance of success. I am always ready to implement any project in Artsakh, and today even more, when all our thoughts are with our compatriots blocked in Artsakh. I am always in contact with the authorities of Artsakh, I cannot be calm when tens of thousands of my compatriots have serious problems there. I am ready to invest my forces and abilities to overcome the crisis. We were talking a while ago about new projects, that is , by the way, where we need new ideas. I have done what I could and will do. But we all understand that nothing can be done without solving the security issue. And today the security of Artsakh is provided by Russia, its peacekeeping mission. There is no alternative. And the attempts to divide our nation, our country into pro-Russian and pro-Western groups, is either talking about immaturity or betrayal. Our problem, as a State, is completely the opposite: to have good relations with Russia, to develop good relations with the West. We should also get out of the role of always asking, waiting. We ourselves must develop new approaches, present new proposals to both Russia and to the West. No one will do it for us.
– You mentioned that in the Armenian world there is uncertainty, some kind of brokenness. On the other hand, there are areas where we have noticeable success, for example in sports. Usually the opposite happens under recessionary conditions.
– There were many athletic achievements this year, one better than the other, in different types of sports. But the answer to the question about success in sports lies outside the sphere of sports. Of course, all the necessary conditions have been provided, of course, we have good coaches, we are resolving the issues of rewards and encouragement, but these great achievements have deeper layers. Our athletes are patriotic people. They understand very well that in today’s situation when our people are in a low-spirited mood, those medals, the singing of our national anthem are of much greater importance than just an athletic success. Those medals give hope to our people, restore faith. Every athlete, who steps into the competition is fighting not only for himself, but also for our heroes and knows that the medal is not only for him, but also for those, who saved the Motherland at the cost of their lives. If we think this way in all areas, we will have succeess everywhere.