By Ruzanna Khachatrian
A senior member of the Armenian Communist Party (HKK) who last week stunned the public by arguing against Armenia’s entry into the Russia-Belarus union was on Tuesday stripped of all his posts in the party leadership. A plenum of the HKK’s central committee dismissed Yuri Manukian as head of the staunchly pro-Russian party’s Yerevan chapter and member of its ruling bureau.
In an interview with the “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, Manukian argued that the authorities are right in opposing Armenia’s membership of the union because the country is now more dependent on Western loans and economic assistance. “Modern-day Russian can not meet even minimum needs of modern-day Armenia,” he said.
The surprise remarks stood in sharp contrast to Manukian’s previous discourse which utterly corresponded to the HKK line. Joining Russia-Belarus is one of the most important issues on the party agenda.
Manukian also enraged many party members by saying that the Communists should not “destabilize” the political situation in the country in their fight against what they regard as a pro-Western government.