Putin Met With Avenue Protests on Go to to Armenia

YEREVAN, Armenia — Russian President Vladimir Putin was greeted with road demonstrations within the capital of this landlocked South Caucasus nation Wednesday as he arrived for talks with the members of a Moscow-led army alliance. 

A whole lot of Armenians and emigre Russians took half in two days of rallies in central Yerevan to protest Putin’s go to, with slogans together with “Putin is a killer” and “No to battle.”  

“We should present that not all Russians help this,” stated Sergei, an IT employee who just lately moved to Yerevan, whereas attending an illustration in opposition to the battle in Ukraine.

The rocky reception for Putin on his first journey to Armenia since 2019 comes as army reversals in Ukraine make the Russian chief seem more and more remoted on the world stage — and as Russia struggles even to retain its affect within the former Soviet states in  Central Asia and the Caucasus. 

Whereas within the Armenian capital, Putin attended a summit of the heads of state of the Collective Safety Treaty Organisation (CSTO) — a army bloc together with Russia and Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan — and was as a result of meet Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. 

“It’s clear to us that our joint work inside the framework of the CSTO brings seen sensible outcomes and helps to guard the nationwide pursuits, sovereignty and independence of our nations,” Putin stated on the gathering.

But, Pashinyan used his welcome speech to assault the CSTO alliance for its inaction within the ongoing battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

										 					Ivan Lomakin
Ivan Lomakin

“We have now failed thus far to decide on the CSTO’s response to Azerbaijan’s aggression in opposition to Armenia,” Pashinyan stated. 

“These information are massively damaging to the picture of the CSTO.”

Exterior the assembly, Armenians and anti-war Russians who’ve relocated to Armenia organized not less than three rallies to protest in opposition to Putin’s go to, Russian help for neighboring Azerbaijan and the Ukraine battle. 

Many Armenians blame Moscow — which they beforehand thought of a detailed ally — for what they see as its failure to help Yerevan in its battle with Baku.

“Russia promised to guard us, however as a substitute it did the alternative,” Yuri Tatevasyan, 64, instructed The Moscow Occasions at a rally within the Armenian capital on Tuesday night.

“We have now nothing in opposition to the Russian folks — however we don’t need to be slaves of the Kremlin,” Tatevasyan added. 

“We would like Armenia to be a free and democratic nation.” 

										 					Ivan Lomakin
Ivan Lomakin

Putin has made few journeys overseas for the reason that begin of Russia’s 9-month battle in Ukraine, which has been castigated by the West and worldwide our bodies, together with the United Nations

The Russian chief earlier this month declined to attend a gathering of the Group of 20 main industrialized nations, the place world leaders “strongly condemned the battle.”

Putin has misplaced his “first amongst equals” standing at CSTO gatherings as a result of Ukraine battle, in keeping with Andrei Kolesnikov, a senior fellow on the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace, though regional leaders stay cautious of the Kremlin. 

“The members of the CSTO are additionally afraid of Putin’s Russia,” Kolesnikov added.  

With Russia historically taking part in a key mediation function in Armenia’s lengthy working battle with Azerbaijan, Yerevan is eager to safe the Kremlin’s help. 

					CSTO session					 					Vladimir Smirnov / TASS / Kremlin
CSTO session
Vladimir Smirnov / TASS / Kremlin

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over Azerbaijan’s Armenian-majority populated exclave of Nagorno-Karabakh for the reason that break-up of the Soviet Union. Six weeks of preventing in autumn 2020 claimed the lives of greater than 6,500 troops from either side and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

“We have now to take into account that Russian peacekeepers are the guarantors of safety,” former Armenian lawmaker Arman Abovyan instructed The Moscow Occasions. 

And even the Russian emigres protesting Putin’s go to this week had been conscious that Yerevan can’t afford to alienate the Russian chief.  

“Putin continues to be welcomed in Armenia, in contrast to in lots of nations,” Russian IT employee Sergei, who declined to offer his surname, instructed The Moscow Occasions.

“Armenia doesn’t need to quarrel with the Russian authorities.”

AFP contributed reporting. 

Leave a Comment