Statements and messages of the President of RA
Address by President Serzh Sargsyan on the occasion of Independence Day
Distinguished President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic,
I congratulate all of us on the occasion of Independence Day.
23 years ago today all together we chose to have an independent Armenian state, political freedoms and democracy.
We declared loudly that we are ready to assume responsibility for bringing to life the values and objectives we ourselves promulgated. And our people not only in words or with ballot-papers, but also in deeds and efforts, and when needed, at the expense of their life proved that they are the master of their responsibility and the values and objectives they have promulgated.
The declaration of independence opened up a new era not only for Armenia, but also for all segments of Armenians. The Republic of Armenia succeeded as a state, compelled the opponent to conclude an honorable ceasefire shoulder to shoulder with Artsakh, raised its villages and cities from the ashes of the war, came out of starvation and darkness and stretched its back.
It is hard to remember a time when our region was free of tensions or complex political situations. We have even got accustomed to such circumstances somehow. Unfortunately, easing of tensions does not always depend on us. However, we do all our best to mitigate the situation and set it in a normal vein.
Today we keep on containing the Azeri provocations endangering regional peace which we are counteracted with all political forces of Armenia, all social layers, as well as with the common stance of Armenia and Artsakh and all Armenians.
We counteract them with the fighting capacity of our army and the brilliant service of our soldiers at the border. Glory to our boys who managed to prevent the unbridled provocations of the enemy even at the expense of their own life! Glory to our heroes!
May nobody hope that our unity will become loose and set a trap behind our backs! May nobody assess our reality based on their own value system and mix free political competition and debate with the loss of unity! Armenia is a democratic country and if they find it hard to understand what it is, it is not our problem. We have different set of values: democracy, political freedoms, peace and philanthropy, as well as respect for all peoples, including the people of Azerbaijan.
We continue to move forward with promoting fundamental freedoms, strengthening civil society, persistently balancing political power and ensuring the rule of law. We are creating a qualitatively new society. We do not do it in order for others to come and assess us negatively or positively. We do it since we believe that democratic consolidation is the only way for Armenia to develop. The basis of our outlook is the man, his interests, rights and well-being.
In the near future we are going to become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. This decision, as I have already mentioned, is conditioned by new possibilities of Armenia's economic development and, why not, by the existing regional security system. We have to be honest. Nobody is a prophet and we can't predict what result we will achieve in ten or 20 years from now, but one thing is clear: if we work hard we can expect serious economic benefits. We have managed to sustain economic growth today as well. The fact that we are not satisfied with the existing growth rates is quite another matter. A huge market is going to open up for our products, and penetration into it depends on our working skills.
On this occasion, I would like to oppose some our opponents who try to present our membership in the Eurasian Economic Union as a loss of Armenia's independence. I have to say that such speculations have existed in all the 23 years of independence. Today, on Armenia's Independence Day, I declare with utmost responsibility that our membership in the Eurasian Economic Union does not pose a threat to Armenia's political independence anyhow. Such claims are groundless. There is not any integration process in the world which does not suppose coordination of steps. This is more than a natural phenomenon.
As far as Armenia's independence is concerned, it is holy and out of discussion. And we will continue our open and beneficial cooperation with all our colleagues, including the Eurasian Union and its member states, the European Union and its member states, the U.S.A., China, neighboring Georgia and Iran and with all other friendly states. Armenia is and will continue to be the active and responsible member of the international family of states.
Our people have paid a very high price for their freedom and independent statehood. We, as a nation and as a state continue our millennial march not forgetting about it for even a moment. We continue it the way we think it to be right. Everybody in the world respects our choice, except for one country which does not even respect the opinion of its citizens. We are open to free and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries, and this is the indissoluble component of the way we have passed and yet to pass.
I once again congratulate all of us on the occasion of this great holiday. The Republic of Armenia is the firm foundation on which the age-old dream of all Armenians rises and is incarnated.
Long live the Republic of Armenia.