The investor and philanthropist, founder of IDeA Foundation Ruben Vardanyan commented on the ongoing changes in Armenia, announcing that the model of governance used in the past 25 years is exhausted, and it is necessary to move from the model of closed society to an open model.
In this context, Vardanyan said that the change of government in Armenia is the last chance for Armenia, there will not be another chance.
“We think that there is no alternative to support to the prime minister and his team. We will not have the second chance. It is necessary to start implementation of the new program of the government immediately after its approval. And we are ready to support with our intellectual, financial, organizational and human resources, well aware that the program is aimed at the solution of short-term problems and cannot reflect the entire volume of systemic changes,” Ruben Vardanyan says, announcing that Karapetyan’s success is going to be everyone’s success, and failure will be everyone’s failure.
Ruben Vardanyan is a symbolic actor in the public, economic, political life of Armenia. He has come to Armenia not as a Russian wealthy person but also as someone who introduces a new culture into business and social life. Nevertheless, Vardanyan’s statement and evaluation is interesting from another point of view. He states that there is no alternative to supporting the prime minister and his team and is ready to support him with financial, organizational and human resources.
Ruben Vardanyan’s statement was preceded by a statement by another symbolic figure – Samvel Karapetyan – who is the richest Armenian according to Forbes. He commented on the press reports that he is likely to invest several hundreds of millions in the Old Yerevan program with several other related projects.
Samvel Karapetyan announced that the information on this and other investments are not true and are aimed at creating “artificial expectations”.
Samvel Karapetyan also gained his wealth in Russia, makes significant investments in Armenia and donates for charity. Unlike Ruben Vardanyan, he has close relations with the Armenian oligarchic system but keeps a distance from them in public and political relations. Moreover, during Hovik Abrahamyan’s tenure as prime minister his brother Karen Karapetyan criticized the policy and situation in his interviews quite toughly.
In this sense, Ruben Vardanyan has gained a good reputation through acting within a modern culture that is counter to the systemic culture, Samvel Karapetyan is an authority in the ruling system in Armenia. And while Ruben Vardanyan’s approach and evaluation for the new prime minister and government may be backed by the legitimacy resource from the public point of view through Vardanyan’s authority, Samvel Karapetyan’s attitude may ensure certain legitimacy for Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan or restrain some negative impulses against him within that system.
Here is an interesting contrast from this point of view.
Samvel Karapetyan who is a symbolic figure in the system actually announces that he does not believe in emotions and is waiting, without hurrying to offer his resources to Karen Karapetyan, two days later the symbolic figure from the point of view of the public system Ruben Vardanyan comes up with full support to the new government and readiness to support with his resources, actually putting forth an interesting line and setting a benchmark.
This contrast between these two symbolic figures making big investments in Armenia reflects the deep nature of developments in the government of Armenia and expresses the reality of walking along Karen Karapetyan’s line. At the same time, it goes without saying that the stance of these figures forming this contrast intentionally or unintentionally or, in other words, their combination will have a crucial role in translating Karen Karapetyan’s line into a roadmap.