ACNIS Expert Opinion Results on Armenia’s National, Int’l Security

Armenian Center for National and International Studies
75 Yerznkian Street
Yerevan 375033, Armenia
Tel: (+374 – 1) 52.87.80 or 27.48.18
Fax: (+374 – 1) 52.48.46
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

August 6, 2004

ACNIS Releases Public and Expert Opinion Results on
Armenia’s National and International Security

Yerevan–The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS)
today issued the results of both a specialized questionnaire and a public
survey on “Armenia’s National and International Security in the Next
Decade,” which it conducted between July 15 and August 2 in Yerevan and all
of Armenia’s regions. More than 50 experts and 2021 citizens took part in
them. Do the Armenian citizens trust the reliability of their country’s
national security? What are the major military, political, economic, and
social dangers that will threaten Armenia in the next 5 years and to what
extent do state authority bodies take the necessary steps to prevent,
abolish, or control these dangers?

ACNIS director of administration Karapet Kalenchian greeted the invited
guests and public participants with opening remarks. “These deliberations on
national security, together with the public and expert survey preceding
them, aim to present public and professional perceptions of national
security problems and draw the attention of responsible bodies to them,” he

ACNIS legal and political affairs analyst Stepan Safarian presented “The
Results of the Survey,” focusing in detail on the findings of the expert and
public opinion polls. According to the findings, the majority of the
surveyed citizens (45.1%) assert that Armenia’s national security is
partially provided, 27.5% think it is not provided at all, 18.1% feel secure
enough, and 9.1% find it difficult to answer. In the expert opinion poll,
these indices read 24%, 76%, 0%, and 0%, respectively.

27.2% of citizens think that Armenia should first of all strengthen 2its
army’s combatibility in the next 5 years, 43.5% its economic potential,
and 6.8% its democratic potential. As for the expert survey, 58% hold
that democratic potential should be strengthened first of all, 24%
economic potential and only 10% army’s combatibility.

Among the broader public, 3.1% point to the presence of Russian military
bases in Armenia as the major military danger that will threaten Armenia in
the next 5 years, 11.2% the withdrawal of these bases from Armenia, 47.5%
the outbreak of war with Azerbaijan, 2.8% Armenia’s accession to NATO, 7%
Turkey’s military invasion of Armenia, 11.7% civil war, 1.7% possible
military conflict with Georgia. Only 13.6% think there is no military
danger. In the expert opinion poll the corresponding findings are 18%, 4%,
44%, 2%, 8%, 4%, 2%, and 18%.

As for the major political danger that will threaten Armenia in the next 5
years, 21.8% of respondent citizens point to confrontations between
authorities and people, while 30% of experts point to falsification of
election results. Furthermore, 4% of citizens and 24% of experts find danger
in the restriction of Armenia’s sovereignty, 9.8% and 14% in the limitation
of political and civil rights, 11.6% and 0% in a possible attempt of revolt,
6.5 and 6% in political terrorism, 14.2% and 0% in provocation of political
tension by the opposition, and 2.9% and 10% in Armenia’s absence from
regional programs. Only 6.8% and 0% are convinced there is no political

Both groups of respondents find corruption to be the major economic danger
that will threaten Armenia in the next 5 years (41% and 42%). 11.2% and 12%
think it is foreign debt, 19.8% and 14% financial economic crisis, 5.5% and
10% the maintenance of Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s economic blockade on
Armenia, and 11.6% and 8% plunder of foreign loans provided for the state.
22.8% of citizens and 12% of experts cite emigration to be the major social
danger, 19.3% and 6% poverty, 23.8% and 0% unemployment, 13.4% and 34%
illegality, 8.9% and 30% immorality, and 2.2% and 12% reduction of birth rat
e. 1.4% and 0% of respondent citizens and experts, respectively, suggest
that there is no social danger.

In response to the question, “To what extent do state authority bodies take
the necessary steps to prevent, abolish, or control these dangers?,” 2.6% of
citizens and 0% of experts think fully, 41.2% and 12% partially, 48.8% and
88% not at all, and 6.9% and 0% find it difficult to answer. The majority of
citizens (76.9%) think that from the viewpoint of security, Armenia’s
relations should be developed with Russia, whereas experts (88%) choose the
European Union. As for the United States, the figures are 35.6% and 76%, for
Iran 31.9% and 48%, and for Turkey 16% and 64%. 49% of respondent citizens
and 52% of specialists think that Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia should be
in a united system of security, 26.2% and 30% think they should not, and
23.9% and 18% find it difficult to answer. 42.8% of citizens and 64% of
experts have positive attitudes toward opening the Armenian-Turkish border,
34.8% and 24% have negative attitudes, and 21.3% and 12% find it difficult
to answer.

In regards to foreign military presence, 46.9% of citizens are convinced
that only Russian military bases should be in Armenia in the next decade,
while 40% of respondent specialists think Russian and NATO military bases
should. In contrast, 20.8% and 0% think military bases of Russia and CIS
member-states should be in Armenia, and 2.5% and 12% only NATO military
bases together. 13.2% of citizens and 30% of experts are for the withdrawal
of all foreign military bases from Armenia.

The second item on the day’s agenda was a presentation by Stepan Safarian,
who addressed the causes of the sometimes differing, sometimes similar
polling numbers of the experts and the citizens. “We may deduce from the
results that citizens are more interested in and affected by internal
issues, while experts are more concerned with external problems,” he

The formal presentations were followed by contributions by former minister
of state Vahan Shirkhanian; Edward Antinian of the Liberal Progressive
Party; Asbed Kotchikian, post-graduate student from Boston University;
Vahagn Khachatrian of the “Armat” center; Giro Manoyan of the Armenian
Revolutionary Federation; Yerevan State University professors Vardan
Khachatrian and Aram Harutiunian; Artashes Ghazakhetsian of Armenia 2020
program; Petros Makeyan of the Democratic Fatherland Party; Tevan Poghosian
of the International Center for Human Development; ACNIS economic and
diaspora affairs analyst Hovsep Khurshudian; Artak Zakarian of the
Republican Party; National Press Club chairperson Narine Mkrtchian; Davit
Petrosian, political analyst for Noyan Tapan news agency; and several

44.5% of the respondent citizens are male and 55.5% female; 7% are 21-30
years of age, 24.1% 31-40, 22.7% 41-50, 34.6% 51-60, 11.6% 60 or above.
42.2% of the citizens surveyed have received a higher education, 8.6%
incomplete higher, 20.9% specialized secondary, 24.6% secondary, and 3.7%
incomplete secondary training. 46.1% are actively employed, 9.5% are
pensioners, 1.4% welfare recipients, and 6.6 students. According to their
income, 44% consider themselves middle class, 32.1% below average, 7.6%
above average, 11.1% poor, 2.6% extremely poor, 0.5% rich, and 1.2%

Among the experts, 74% are male and 26% female; 16% are 21-30 years of age,
36% 31-40, 30% 41-50, 18% 51 or above. All the experts surveyed have
received a higher education, 4% are full professors (PhD), 24% candidates of
sciences, 68% hold a Master’s degree, and 4% have earned a Bachelor’s

Founded in 1994 by Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffi K.
Hovannisian and supported by a global network of contributors, ACNIS serves
as a link between innovative scholarship and the public policy challenges
facing Armenia and the Armenian people in the post-Soviet world. It also
aspires to be a catalyst for creative, strategic thinking and a wider
understanding of the new global environment. In 2004, the Center focuses
primarily on public outreach, civic education, and applied research on
critical domestic and foreign policy issues for the state and the nation.

For further information on the Center or the full graphics of the poll
results, call (3741) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (3741) 52-48-46; e-mail
[email protected] or [email protected]; or visit or