YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Yerevan police clashed with protesters gathered at the Presidential Palace Wednesday to voice opposition to Armenia’s decision to join a Russia-led economic union.
The protesters argued that by joining the Customs Union, Armenia will become an accomplice in the restoration of the Soviet Union and demanded the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian who during a visit to Russia made the surprise announcement about Armenia’s intentions.
Clashes broke out between police and demonstrators when they tired to gather in front of the presidential residence. Several activists were detained.
Those detained are expected to be released after a report is drawn up. Several demonstrators marched to the police department to support their friends.
One of the protesters, Levon Barseghyan told reporters in a briefing that they are displeased with the fact that the public is not sufficiently informed of details of agreements with the European Union as well as about the opportunities and shortcomings of entry into the Customs Union.
In a dramatic about-face Sarkisian announced on Tuesday his decision to join a Russian-led union of ex-Soviet states after a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
A joint statement issued after the talks held near Moscow said Sarkisian informed Putin about “the decision of the Republic of Armenia to join the Customs Union” of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and “take necessary practical steps for that purpose.” The statement added that Yerevan will also “participate in the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union,” which Putin hopes will bring together a larger number of former Soviet republics loyal Moscow.