Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has called on people not involved in riots to go home after angry protesters stormed government and parliament buildings in Yerevan early on November 10 following the news of a Russia-brokered deal with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh viewed by them as surrender.
“All those citizens who have nothing to do with the disturbances, please go home. All those citizens who believe me, believe us, please prepare for struggle,” Pashinian wrote on Facebook, addressing his words to citizens who gathered near the buildings of the government and the National Assembly in Yerevan.
“Do not doubt for a second that we have not done anything dishonest. We did not agree to any bargain. I have acted in a way so as to have answers to all questions and be clean in front of my homeland and the people,” Pashinian said.
“At this difficult time, we must stand side by side against mice stealing seeds. You, who fish in muddy waters, we will still talk,” the premier added in an apparent reference to his political opponents.
Unrest in Yerevan started after the news that the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia signed an agreement putting an end to 44-day-long fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh as rioters perceived the deal as surrender.
Still on November 9, amid what appeared to be a series of military defeats suffered by Armenia-backed ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting against Azerbaijan, a group of Armenian opposition parties issued a joint statement demanding Pashinian’s resignation.
Among the 17 parties that signed the statement were the main parliamentary opposition party, Prosperous Armenia, led by tycoon Gagik Tsarukian, the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia of former President Serzh Sarkisian, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and others.
In earlier remarks Pashinian implied that corruption in previous governments was also to blame for the current situation.
“All those who are responsible, including myself if I am responsible, will be held to account,” he said.