The protesters intend to repeat their demand early next week outside the US embassy and the UN office in Yerevan.
During the rally outside the Russian embassy, the participants called on Russia to “reliably carry out” its peacekeeping mission in Karabakh.
According to Armenian media, the protesters gathered in front of the French Embassy called on France to deploy peacekeeping troops in Karabakh.
Levon Hayriyan, who fled Hadrut to Armenia and currently heads the For Hadrut NGO, says that Armenian refugees intend to organize a sit-in, which will continue until France meets their demands.
Another protester, Ashot Harutyunyan, who illegally resided in Shusha before fleeing to Armenia in the fall of 2020, claims that their demand to France as a co-chair of the Minsk Group involves bringing peacekeepers to Lachin “to maintain communication between Armenia and Karabakh”.
An embassy employee came out to the protesters and accepted a written petition from them.
In response to the protesters’ demand for a meeting with the French ambassador, the employee said that the ambassador was currently on vacation.
Even though the protesters were not Armenian citizens but Armenian refugees from Karabakh, the essence of their demands, according to observers, reaffirms official Yerevan’s dissatisfaction with the actions of the Russian peacekeeping forces, which Nikol Pashinyan harshly criticized the day before.
In particular, the Armenian Prime Minister accused the Russian peacekeepers of not preventing the Azerbaijani army from establishing control over the villages of Kohne Taglar and Chaylagala, included in the administrative territory of Khojavend District in December 2020, and over the village of Farrukh, included in the administrative territory of Khojaly District in March 2022.
Pashinyan also accused the Russians of inaction amid the recent strikes launched by the Azerbaijani army against the positions of illegal Armenian armed groups as part of the anti-terrorist Operation Vengeance, and proposed introducing “additional mechanisms” to ensure the safety of Karabakh Armenians.
Pashinyan did not specify what he meant by “additional international mechanisms” and what steps Armenia intended to take in this regard.
Commenting on Pashinyan’s criticism, the Kremlin cited the trilateral documents as the reference point for actions of the Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh and recalled the necessity to unconditionally honor the commitments undertaken by the signatories.
In this regard, it is worth recalling that during the clashes in the Lachin and Kalbajar sectors of the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border last spring, the Armenian authorities almost hysterically demanded support from the CSTO member states. When official representatives of this organization reminded Yerevan that the armed clashes were taking place on the border between the two countries and were not an infringement on the territorial integrity of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan suggested, as he did yesterday, “initiating other international mechanisms”, namely the deployment of French or US peacekeeping forces on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Just as a year ago, the idea of sending Western peacekeepers to the region has no chance to be discussed in earnest for a number of objective reasons, the main reason being that it is not up to Armenia to decide whether or not to bring in or withdraw peacekeeping forces to the South Caucasus region.
Meanwhile, the lack of confidence in the impartiality of the Russian peacekeepers has been brought up not only in Yerevan. Protests were also organized in Khankendi. A group of activists calling themselves “representatives of political parties and NGOs” met with the commander of the Russian peacekeeping forces General Alexander Volkov to voice their discontent.