President of the Republic
Kocharyan was born on August 31, 1954. He finished the secondary school
In 1972-74 he served in the Soviet
Army. In 1982 he graduated from the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute as an
engineer, and upon graduation, he started working in the Stepanakert Electro-Technical
Factory. From 1980 he had been occupying various positions in Komsomol
(Young Communist’s League) and Communist organizations.
Since February 1989 he has been among
the most active leaders of the Karabagh movement. As a key leader of the
self-determination movement of Nagorno-Karabagh. He associated with “Krunk”
(political organization), and in 1989, became one of the founders of the
Miatsum (Unification) non-governmental organization and served as Advisor
to the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Nagorno-Karabagh. In 1989,
he was elected deputy to the Soviet Supreme Council (Parliament) of the
Republic of Armenia - the Nagorno-Karabagh representative.
In 1989 and 1990 he was elected as
a Deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. In 1991 he
was elected as a Deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Karabagh.
In August 1992 Robert Kocharyan took the post of Chairman of the State
Committee of Defense and later was appointed Prime Minister of Karabagh.
Under pressure by the Azerbaijani military aggression, he organized the
Nagorno-Karabagh self-defense forces, thereby established defense and security
infrastructures for Nagorno-Karabagh. These defense forces achieved successive
victories, securing the safety of the people and the borders of Nagorno-Karabagh.
In May of 1994, a cease-fire between Nagorno-Karabagh and Azerbaijan was
negotiated - that cease-fire continues today.
Under Kocharyan's leadership, Nagorno-Karabagh
became a negotiating member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe for the settlement of the conflict. He also became the
first Karabagh representative to negotiate directly on behalf of the people
of Nagorno-Karabagh in international forums.
On December 24, 1994 following the
decision of the National Assembly of Karabagh, and by an overwhelming majority
Robert Kocharyan was elected the first President of Nagorno-Karabagh.
Kocharyan's appeal that "a nation tested by the ordeals of war must pass
the test of peace" marked the beginning of a large-scale social and economic
rehabilitation of Nagorno-Karabagh.
In March 1997, Robert Kocharyan was
appointed Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. As Prime Minister,
he tackled issues of corruption and intensified efforts to institutionalize
a free market economy.
On April 1998, Robert Kocharyan was
elected the second president of the Republic of Armenia. The Kocharyan
administration is known for its visionary leadership to integrate Armenia
into the regional and global economy with its open door policy for international
investments and participation in regional programs, and its strong position
in pursuing a peaceful and lasting resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.
He is married to Bella Kocharyan
and has three children.