«I Don't Burn Bridges» - Artsakh Republic NA President Artur Tovmasyan. Interview to the Republican newspaper «Azat Artsakh»
16 July 2021

July 13, the Republic of Artsakh National Assembly President, Artur Tovmasyan answered the republican newspaper reporter's questions within the framework of a new project.


  • Mr. Tovmasyan, what does a position mean for you?


  • Any person, whether official or unofficial, professional or non, must first be honest with God, never betray the people he trusts and at the same time must never abuse or betray his position. Yes, we see that some officials when getting a position, they even change their gait. Many people cannot stand the temptation. One just has to be able to stay the way he has been before getting the job. Only good deeds and silent devotion can speak of you.


  • Do you share the opinion that the position entails certain complexes and longterm officials cannot find their place in this or that field and environment without a position?


  • I have been in the political arena of Artsakh for many years, there were people about whom I had a great opinion. However, I was disappointed after getting my position. But there is also the opposite. There were people I didn't pay attention to, but when I started to work with them, I simply admired their knowledge and human qualities.


  • How would you describe yourself?


  • You see, I have held a number of positions in the National Assembly ... A parliamentarian is not a minister, whom you can remove for ignorance. You cannot get rid of any deputy because they are elected by the people. There were times when I was both an MP and the dean of Artsakh State University, the director of the party office, and at the same time the president of the Athletics Federation. Once, on an occasion, I told former MP, People's Actor Zhanna Galstyan, that she was not the actor. "I am the actor and I play 4 roles at a time". The deputy must be sociable, humane, capable of listening. There are no complaints to date and let those around me speak about the rest of my qualities. In general, I consider myself very kind. Kind, but not tolerant, I do not give up under any circumstances, I always resist, if needed.


  • Have you ever been angry and rude to your subordinates, then you repented and apologized? Or you have forgiven in your mind, but you did not talk about it, thinking that it was beneath your dignity?


  • A popular proverb says, that one should not rely on a weak dog while hunting ... I do not rely on semiliterates, all our problems arise not from ignorance, but from semi-literacy. I am a lecturer, I am a teacher; We find out the best during the exam, don't we? It helps me in politics as well. There is not a lack of politicians in the world of Artsakh, but a quality. As for apologizing, if I have unknowingly hurt someone, even if he is my grandson, I am ready to apologize immediately. No matter how acute the issues in politics, I abstract from the person and criticize his activities.


  • Have you ever been betrayed or disappointed during your tenure and you still can't forget it?


  • I have my criminal code. If, for example, I am offended or, as you say, betrayed, the punishment of my code is 72 hours. Those who know me are aware that they are in "exile" for 72 hours and it is better not to see them for 3 days. Then, even if I don't want, I have to forgive.


  • What is your mission in the society?


  • I'm not a bridge burner, and I think I'm excelled in such a mission today, I have never blown up bridges between people with whom it was even worth breaking ties. Throughout my conscious life, I have melted ice in the political field not only in my human relationships, but in the difficult relationships of others. I always say to our leaders, that in any case you should always leave room for greeting. It is very easy to blow up the bridge, it is very difficult to build it, it takes a long time.


  • Which human trait do you consider an advantage and which a disadvantage?


  • Kindness is my main shortcoming ... My good friend Hovik Jivanyan, a deputy of several convocations of the National Assembly, says that sometimes your kindness crosses the red line so much that it becomes evil. And let those who know me say about my advantages. A working person cannot have flaws, even innocent flaws. I have a bad attitude towards the conscious shortcomings, and the unconscious is forgivable for everyone. I have always hated those who greet me with both hands, those who smile falsely, I accept healthy criticism quite well, I like to argue, but I cannot stand meaningless arguments.


  • And family...?


  • The family in my life ... I would divide it into two parts, the first one was in 1986, when I got married, until June 4, 2011 and from June 4, 2011 until today. Postgraduate years, then politics, it turned out that I spent very little time with my family, for which I feel pain today. When I resigned from the post of NA Speaker, my sons were 9 and 10 years old and I started actively communicating with them. I saw them telling their mother that Artur Tovmasyan was at home or had come home, I had to explain to them that Artur Tovmasyan was their father, who was not fulfilling his duty due to his busy schedule. As for June 4, 2011, that day I became a grandfather, Arthur Tovmasyan Jr. was born. I was looking forward to that day and little Arturik connected me more with my family. Now I have three grandchildren and I dedicate my little free time to them. I reserve a big role in the family for my wife, who silently endured the difficulty of being Artur Tovmasyan's wife especially until 2011. All my successes are conditioned by her devotion to the family and her support, without her support, to put it mildly, it would have been difficult for me.


  • Your formula for motherland and patriotism?


  • Serving the motherland is a duty, defending the motherland is a profession ... The word patriotism has not been in my vocabulary for a long time, I have replaced it with veneration of the motherland. To me every person who lives in Artsakh at the moment is a patriot. And the patriots are the people of Artsakh who are outside the borders of Artsakh, but they do not forget Artsakh and with their investments and charity they help and support their motherland. All the Armenians have lost three quarters of Artsakh, every day I meet people who tell me what they have lost, and I tell them, I have lost my homeland, where are your gardens and we have lost our homeland together. We overcame the difficulties of the war with our family, two sons, brothers who were all at the forefront ... I did not have any information from my eldest son for 13 days, but my fellow deputies did not notice my feelings. On November 10, one day after the unfortunate announcement, my wife called asking to send a car for them to come back home. My answer was the following; no car, you can come the way all other people do. My mother was evacuated from Stepanakert on November 7, with big efforts, she did not want to go. In November, I did not convene any sitting of the National Assembly, because the draft laws that were in the National Assembly did not correspond to the new reality. After 44 days in hell, we found ourselves in darkness, and darkness is always followed by light.


  • Are you well aware of the history of your family tree? Where do you roots come from?


  • Chartar, Khnushinak, Stepanakert, Alighuli settlement of Kashatagh region, this is where my roots come from ... I was adopted by my aunt, I had 2 fathers and 2 mothers, I always say God was generous to me, with the love of 4 parents and I was surrounded with care, each has its place and role in my life.


  • In addition to work what you do, what hobbies do you have that accompany you throughout your life?


  • I have a big circle of friends ... I have always loved and still like to gather with my friends over a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of wine. I feel comfortable around my friends. My homeland, my family, my friends, with whom I share salt, are sacred to me. I love our nationalpatriotic songs, and the classical is close to my soul, but I am just crazy about national-patriotic songs. During our student year parties we always sang "Andranik" and "Ghars" together with friends. I like the theater very much, the theater of our young days, when we stood in line for a ticket, we went to watch the same play 3-4 times. I like to play football and I like watching. I am like the absolute majority of my people. Martin Luther says: "Everyone can be powerful if they want to serve the people" ...


I also serve my people and try to be strong