Garnik Isagulyan Does Research

19 April 06

On April 19 the story of an institute become known; its name was
announced two years ago but recently it has been served in a dish
at last. It is the Institute of Political Research, established on
the June 10, 2004 decision of the government of Armenia and operated
within the administration of the president of Armenia. The founder
and the president of the board of the institute is Garnik Isagulyan,
adviser to the president of Armenia. On April 19 he gave a news
conference to give the new address of the Institute of Political
Research. The institute occupies 6 rooms in the library building of
the Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Before the Institute existed,
if it existed at all, in the residence of the president of Armenia.

However, the institute will not stay long at this address. The
government has provided a five-storey building at 44 Arshakunyats
Street which will be ready to receive Garnik Isagulyan and experts
in six months.

“I repeat and I will be saying this quite often that the institute
does not face any problems thanks to the head of state because he
accepts all our proposals,” says Garnik Isagulyan. He also says it
is not clear when the government decision on establishment of the
institute would be implemented if the president had not attended to
it personally. Nevertheless, besides the president, Garnik Isagulyan
thanks the government, the National Assembly and all the other agencies
which contributed to the Institute of Political Research.

The major goal of the institute is political analyses for the
president of Armenia. The topics are not unlimited, but there are
topics, such as the Karabakh issue and the developments connected
with our four neighbor countries, that are under constant attention,
and reports on these are extended to the president every week. These
reports are confidential, but generally Garnik Isagulyan assures
that their activity will be open, their analyses will be open, they
will not be pro-governmental or opposition, and most importantly,
they will be independent. The institute will be funded from the state
budget, and Garnik Isagulyan finds this to be the main guarantee of
independence. In 2006, for instance, the political research for the
president of Armenia will cost taxpayers 107 million drams.

“It was extremely important for the institute not to depend on
other sources of funding in order to be independent,” says Garnik
Isagulyan. However, being a governmental agency that is funded
from the budget does not mean that the institute headed by Garnik
Isagulyan cannot accept orders. It can and is willing to, assures
Garnik Isagulyan. Any agency, both Armenian and foreign, political
and nonpolitical, opposition of pro-governmental, can order research
and, of course, pay for it. The president of the board of the IPS
Garnik Isagulyan assures that the experts are highly qualified, and
their analyses could have even enriched the desktop of Condoleezza
Rice, says Garnik Isagulyan. However, Rice would first have to order
and pay. The analyses are free for the president, the government,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense. Garnik
Isagulyan plans to increase the members of the staff from 42 to 72.

The minimum salary is 150 thousand drams.