Armenian minister of education and science, member of the nationalist party Dashnaktsutyun Levon Mkrtchyan explained to journalists why the Russian is more important in Armenia than other foreign languages.
The website designed for the publication of draft legal acts (e-draft.am) recently introduced the concept of teaching foreign languages in Armenian schools. The publication caused a stormy reaction in the country as the concept of the Russian language was presented separately from other foreign languages. Many alleged that this step contained political overtones and was lobbied by the Russian Federation in order to make Russian an official language in Armenia.
Minister Mkrtchyan commented on the situation in a conversation with journalists during a break at the Armenia-Diaspora Sixth Pan-Armenian Forum in Yerevan, saying; “First of all, the rest have Latin basis, and Russian – Cyrillic. Secondly, Russian is a mandatory foreign language in Armenian schools starting from the second grade, while English, French, German are optional. And thirdly, our specialized literature in universities and libraries is predominantly in Russian. That is, if we want to have good physicists, then specialized literature in Russian is cheaper and more affordable for our society.”
Nevertheless, the minister insisted that “the Armenian language will always remain the only official language in Armenia;” this, he said, is backed by the law. Mkrtchyan added that there could be no political overtones in the issue, and all such discussions “have a false agenda.”