President Robert Kocharian appears to be adamant in his opposition to
Armenia joining the Russian-Belarus union, leaders of the Communist Party said on Thursday. Communist leaders were received by Kocharian late on Wednesday after thousands of their supporters rallied in Yerevan to demand a nationwide referendum on the idea. "The president said that we should watch [political] processes and not pull ahead of them," a leading member of the Communist faction in the parliament, Gagik Tadevosian, told reporters. "But we believe that moving too slowly is also wrong."
The parliament, to the dismay of the protesters demonstrating outside, on Wednesday refused to debate the pro-Russian party's motion to demand that Kocharian call the referendum. The Communist initiative collapsed after a boycott of the parliamentary session by the majority Miasnutyun faction. Its leader, Galust Sahakian, said the motion would not have been included on the parliament agenda even if it was discussed by the deputies. "There are serious people sitting in the National Assembly, very few of them would decide overnight to incorporate their country into another country," he said.
In Tadevosian's words, the Communists will suspend their protest actions until after the upcoming visits to Armenia by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the speaker of the State Duma, Gennady Seleznev. He said they will then decide their further plans.