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Live updates: Four MPs leave Armenia’s ruling bloc after PM’s controversial comments

16 November 2020
Nikol Pashinyan.

Armenia has been struck by political unrest since the peace deal to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh was agreed on between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia.

According to the deal, Armenia will hand control of several territories to Azerbaijan but the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh is undefined. Russian peacekeepers have already entered Nagorno Karabakh to oversee the deal.

Read all of our coverage of the war including our Voices for Peace series.

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 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

16 Nov 2020, 18:00

Deadline for Armenian forces to leave Kalbajar extended to 25 November

The deadline for Armenian forces to withdraw from the region of Kalbajar (Karvachar) has been extended until 25 November. The deadline had previously been 15 November.

16 Nov 2020, 16:43

Two groups of Russian peacekeepers will be stationed in and near Dadivank Monastery 

Two groups peacekeepers will be stationed at Dadivank Monastery, one at the entrance to the settlement of Vank, and one at the monastery, Senior Lieutenant Oleg Kovalenko of the Russian peacekeeping forces reportedly told Russian state-run news outlet Sputnik

He reportedly told the outlet that the peacekeepers are there with the blessing of the abbot of the monastery, Father Hovhannes. 

16 Nov 2020, 16:33

My Step MPs will attempt to revoke opposition leader’s MP status

MPs from Armenia’s ruling My Step bloc will be turning to the country’s Constitutional Court with a petition to remove the parliamentary mandate from opposition leader Gagik Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan, one of the country’s richest men, has been under criminal investigation for vote-buying and had been released from police custody during the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

16 Nov 2020, 15:50

Pashinyan gets rid of Minister of Foreign Affairs

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced that Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan will be relieved of his duties. Shortly thereafter, Mntatsakanyan announced his resignation. 

16 Nov 2020, 14:57

Pashinyan: Road between Stepanakert and Armenia will open today

Speaking in parliament today, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has stated that the road passing through Lachin (Berdzor) that connects the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh with the Republic of Armenia will be open as of today. 

16 Nov 2020, 12:30

Four MPs leave Armenia’s ruling bloc after PM’s Facebook comments

‘Today I watched dozens of videos of soldiers from the front line, I was struck by the thoughtfulness of the soldiers’, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on Sunday evening. ‘You, guys, are right. I am waiting for you in Yerevan. To finally resolve the issues of the snivelling people under the walls’.

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender condemned the statement, warning that it could lead to violence. 

Four MPs, Taguhi Tovmasyan, Gayane Abrahamyan, Lusine Badalyan, and head of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office Varag Siseryan, from the ruling My Step bloc, also announced that they were leaving the ruling faction after Pashinyan’s comments. 

Nikol Pashinyan has since attempted to clarify his earlier statements saying that he did not call for soldiers to exercise violence against political opponents. Instead, he said, he meant that returning soldiers will, by telling their stories, dispel any ideas that Armenia ‘military-political leadership’ was involved in any ‘conspiracies’. 

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