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“Ruben Vardanyan is an outstanding businessman, philanthropist, and man of integrity. But, as it turns out, this is not enough to be a successful politician, even more so — a politician of a country at war. At first, Vardanyan went to Karabakh to become administrator, the prime minister. He then decided to stay, showing that he was a good person and a great politician. I think the transformation of businessman Vardanyan into politician Vardanyan took place when he decided to stay rather than run away in a woman’s dress or on the floor of a car like some businessmen fleeing Russia — he made the choice to stay, knowing that he might very well be detained. He has not yet become a public politician, but a politician has certainly been born. What will happen next? Will Azerbaijan release him, exchange him for someone? Will unofficial friends come to his aid, and will they be able to convince President Aliyev that Vardanyan is not involved in what, for example, Arayik Harutyunyan is charged with? Ruben was engaged in economic activities, not shelling.”

Alexey Tokarev, sociologist