YEREVAN—A procession of hundreds of demonstrators marched from Republic Square to the Russian Embassy in Armenia with angry calls urging Moscow to stop the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan, reported News.am.
During last week’s massive attacks against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Azerbaijani forces used weapons Baku acquired from Moscow against Armenian targets. This issue was raised by President Serzh Sarkisian both during his visit to Germany and while meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week.
Russia’s response, as articulated by Medvedev, was that Moscow would continue its arms supplies to Azerbaijan, to deter Baku from acquiring arms from other sources. It has been widely reported that Azerbaijan also deployed drones purchased from Israel during the attacks on Artsakh.
Protesters said that Russia was destabilizing the situation in the region by the sale of weapons to Azerbaijan. They also called on Armenians living in Russia to advance this issue in their host country.
The protesters urged Russia to fulfill its obligations to Armenia as an ally and respect the national interests and Armenia’s security in future decisions. They also vocally demanded that Russia immediately halt the sale of arms to Azrebaijan.
The demonstrators also called on Diaspora communities to, in addition to protesting Azerbaijani diplomatic missions abroad, to include Russian outposts in their acts of grievance.
On Saturday, a similar demonstration took place in front of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry building where the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen were holding talks with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.
The Saturday protesters decried international inaction regarding the Karabakh conflict and the atrocities committed by Azerbaijan against civilian and military targets. They also demanded international recognition of Artsakh’s independence and urged the mediators to include the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a party to the conflict in the negotiating process.