[lg policy] Re: FW: "Russian Lesson" Provokes Fury in Armenia

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 3 20:33:51 UTC 2014


Thanks, Bill--this is really outrageous!

best,

Hal


On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM, Harold Schiffman <haroldfs at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Forwarded From: Fierman, William <wfierman at indiana.edu>
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> [image: Image removed by sender. Institute for War and Peace Reporting]
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> Published on *Institute for War and Peace Reporting* (http://iwpr.net)
>     ------------------------------
>  "Russian Lesson" Provokes Fury in Armenia
>
> Outspoken Moscow media official suggests Armenia should adopt Russian as
> an official language.
>
> By Arpi Harutyunyan <http://iwpr.net/people/arpiharutyunyan> [1] -
>
> 30 Jun 14
>
> Opposition politicians in Armenia have attacked the government for hosting
> a top media figure from Moscow who made insensitive remarks about the poor
> knowledge of Russian in the country.
>
> Comments by Dmitry Kiselyov, head of the Russia Today news agency and
> deputy head of the Russian state broadcaster have reinforced fears that
> Armenia is well on its way to being swallowed up by its longstanding ally.
>
> On a visit to Yerevan, Kiselyov told a meeting of the Russian-Armenian
> Parliamentary Club on June 11 that he was shocked at how poorly local taxi
> drivers spoke Russian.
>
> Highlighting Moscow’s role as Armenia’s key strategic ally, Kiselyov went
> on to complain that “there are almost no Russian [language medium] schools
> in Yerevan, and Russian is dying out in Armenia. It follows that Russian
> culture is also dying, and the link with Russia will gradually weaken. This
> is a very dangerous trend.”
>
> He suggested that the best way to preserve Russian would be to formalise
> it as a second state language on a par with Armenian.
>
> Kiselyov’s comments provoked outrage from the opposition. Nikol Pashinyan
> of the Armenian National Congress demanded an official rebuff.
>
> “Such disrespectful comments from foreigners must meet with the strongest
> condemnation from state and society,” Pashinyan told parliament. “I think
> the foreign minister should consider declaring Dmitry Kiselyov persona non
> grata in Armenia.”
>
> The inter-parliamentary meeting was attended by deputy speaker Hermine
> Naghdalyan and three politicians from the ruling Republican Party.
>
> Opponents of the government said it had set itself up for humiliation by
> giving such a high-level welcome to a man who has become notorious for his
> abrasive on-screen style.
>
> “If you give a platform to some lying analyst, then you end up with an
> ill-educated lout who decides to try to teach us a lesson,” said Naira
> Zohrabyan of the opposition party Prosperous Armenia.
>
> There was further anger that the meeting was conducted exclusively in
> Russian, despite a legal requirement for all official proceedings to be
> translated into Armenian. The speaker of parliament, Galust Sahakyan,
> promised to provide simultaneous translation during forthcoming events.
>
> Deputy speaker Naghdalyan said she understood why people were angry, but
> denied the government had been humiliated.
>
> “The Armenian-Russian friendship club will function in Russia as well, and
> Armenian parliamentarians will be able to express their opinions there,”
> she said.
>
> Another deputy speaker, Eduard Sharmazanov, who is a leading figure in the
> Republican Party, attempted to play down the furore, saying, “Kiselyov
> isn’t such a significant individual that we should be talking about him for
> days on end.”
>
> Education minister Armen Ashotyan released a statement insisting that “the
> Russian language has no constitutional status in Armenia, and we see no
> need for this since Armenia is a monoethnic country”.
>
> The controversy reflects broader unease at Armenia’s increasingly close
> ties with Russia at a time when the latter is increasingly asserting its
> might, for example in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
>
> With unfriendly neighbours – Turkey and Azerbaijan – on either flank,
> Armenia has retained close security links with Russia since the break-up of
> the Soviet Union. Moscow has a military airfield in Yerevan and an army
> base in Gyumri, and the two countries agreed in 2010 to extend the Russian
> presence until 2044.
>
> Since last September, Armenia has been on a course to join the
> Russia-Belarus-Kazakstan Customs Union, a move some see as an erosion of
> national sovereignty. (See*Armenia Faces Delay to Joining Moscow-Led
> Union
> <http://iwpr.net/report-news/armenia-faces-delay-joining-moscow-led-union> *
> *[2]* on recent developments in the process.)
>
> In recent months, Yerevan has handed Russia’s Gazprom *control of its
> domestic gas pipeline network*
> <http://iwpr.net/report-news/russian-energy-giant-captures-armenian-market>
>  [3] and a monopoly on purchases and sales, and it is considering*selling
> a major chemical plant*
> <http://iwpr.net/report-news/russians-take-over-major-armenian-chemicals-plant>
>  [4] to another firm, Rosneft.
>
> Finally, Moscow is now offering fast-track citizenship to Armenians and
> other post-Soviet nationals if they are fluent in Russian and are prepared
> to renounce their own countries’ passports. (See *Armenians Enticed by
> Russian Passport Offer*
> <http://iwpr.net/report-news/armenians-enticed-russian-passport-offer> [5] on
> the implications.)
>
> With all these moves in train, Kiselyov’s abrasive style caused further
> alarm.
>
> “Is Armenia a Russian province or is it a sovereign state, for the status
> of Russian to be enhanced?” prominent theatre producer Levon Mutafyan
> asked. “Everything starts from the policy of our government which accepts
> its status as a Russian vassal.”
>
> *Arpi Harutyunyan is a reporter for Armnews television in Armenia.*
>    ------------------------------
>
> [image: Image removed by sender.]
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> *Source URL:*
> http://iwpr.net/report-news/russian-lesson-provokes-fury-armenia
>
> *Links:*
> [1] http://iwpr.net/people/arpiharutyunyan
> [2]
> http://iwpr.net/report-news/armenia-faces-delay-joining-moscow-led-union
> [3]
> http://iwpr.net/report-news/russian-energy-giant-captures-armenian-market
> [4]
> http://iwpr.net/report-news/russians-take-over-major-armenian-chemicals-plant
> [5] Armenians Enticed by Russian Passport Offer - Institute for War and
> Peace Reporting - P212
> <http://iwpr.net/report-news/armenians-enticed-russian-passport-offer>
>
> .
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
>
>  Harold F. Schiffman
>
> Professor Emeritus of
>  Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
> Dept. of South Asia Studies
> University of Pennsylvania
> Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
>
> Phone:  (215) 898-7475
> Fax:  (215) 573-2138
>
> Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
> http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/
>
> -------------------------------------------------
>



-- 
=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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