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Protest Staged In Yerevan Ahead Of CSTO Summit, Putin Visit


Activists and supporters of the pro-Western opposition National Democratic Pole alliance hold a protest in Yerevan ahead of the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a summit of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization. November 22, 2022.

A pro-Western opposition alliance calling for Armenia’s exit from a Moscow-led defense bloc staged a protest in Yerevan on Tuesday ahead of the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to be also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The National-Democratic Pole (NDP), which consists of a number of political parties and fringe groups espousing mostly nationalist views, vowed to hold more protests on November 23 when leaders of the CSTO are to meet in the Armenian capital.

Participants of tonight’s action chanted anti-Russian slogans as they marched through the central streets of Yerevan. They charged that neither Russia, nor other members of the CSTO, including Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, came to Armenia’s aid during and after deadly border clashes with Azerbaijan in September, which Yerevan says stemmed from Baku’s aggression and resulted in the occupation of dozens of square meters of sovereign Armenian territory.

Activists and supporters of the NDP, which is not represented in the Armenian parliament, branded both the CSTO and Russia as enemies of Armenia.

In an interview with Armenia’s Public Television on November 16 Armenian Prime Minister berated the CSTO for refusing to defend Armenia in what Yerevan says were a series of incursions by Azerbaijan since May 2021.

The rare open criticism from Yerevan came in the wake of public remarks by Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko who bluntly rejected Armenia’s appeal for military assistance, opposing any CSTO intervention in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

Pashinian said in the interview that answers regarding the CSTO’s position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict to be given at the upcoming summit of the organization were “extremely important” to Yerevan. “I think that the attitude of Armenian citizens towards the CSTO and the future of our relations with the CSTO will be formed based on this matter,” he said.

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