KRASNODAR–Russia (Noyan Tapan–Armenpress)–A delegation of Armenian parliament members arrived in Krasnodar Thursday to assess the living conditions of Armenia’s in the Russian region–which has been the scene of ethnic tensions between minorities and the governing bodies of that region.
The delegation was greeted at the airport by local government representatives who escorted the Armenian group into a meeting with Krasnodar governor Aleksander Tkachov.
During the meeting–Tkachov emphasized the importance of Russian-Armenian relations and called the recent anti-Armenian incidents as "barbaric." He added that the recent desecration of Armenian graves at a local cemetery was condemned by the authorities and an investigation is still underway to determine the culprits in the hate crime.
He pledged his administrations willingness to take steps to ensure that such acts do not occur in the future.
Armen Rustamian of the Parliamentary Commission of foreign affairs and the leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation parliamentary faction–addressed the concerns of Krasnodar Armenia’s by emphasizing the legal status of recent immigran’s to the region.
Rustamian stressed that while the Armenian side places importance on the immediate resolution of the illegal immigrant situation in the region–the main concerns were brought about by the contradictions in regional laws and Russian Federation measures regarding immigration within the CIS.
"Agreemen’s between our two countries enable us to resolve all such issues. Since Krasnodar is a part of Russia–its authorities must comply with those inter-state agreemen’s," Rustamian explained.
Rustamian added that the Armenian delegation was encouraged to resolve immigration issues and proposed the establishment of an Armenian Consulate General in Krasnodar.
"The number of Armenia’s in the region must not scare the regional government," stated delegation leader Hovaness Hovanessian–who explained that the delegation was on a fact-finding mission to the area to assess the situation and come up with proper resolutions.
The delegation also met with the commander of the regional forces Vladimir Gromov–who briefed the group on the current state of Armenia’s in the region.
He said that Armenia’s living in the area were divided into three different groups: those who have been living in Krasnodar for centuries–Armenia’s who immigrated to the region in the 1950’s after being expelled from Crimea and Armenia’s who immigrated to the area following the pogroms in Azerbaijan and the Armenian earthquake.
Gromov added that regional authorities were concerned about the "flow" of Armenian immigran’s from the third group–who are allegedly living in the region illegally and are working without proper authorization. The commander pointed out that the sudden growth of the population in the region has caused concern among the locals.
Gromov called the recent desecration of an Armenian cemetery appalling–adding however that the area has also seen an insurgence of Armenian gang activity.