Armenia, protests, after agreement with Azerbaijan

Armenian foreign minister resigns after agreement with Azerbaijan

Tension is high in Armenia after the agreement with Azerbaijan on Karabakh, with daily protests in Yerevan.

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan announced his resignation on Monday a week after Armenia signed a “painful” peace agreement with Azerbaijan that represented a de facto capitulation, and in which it cedes most of the occupied territories in Karabakh in exchange for the cessation of hostilities that began at the end of September.

Since the signing of the agreement, protests and requests for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have been daily in the capital of the country, Yerevan, where thousands of protesters gather every day accusing Pashinyan – who has acknowledged that if he had not signed the agreement, Armenia would have lost all of Karabakh in a matter of days – of being a “traitor“.

The Russian-mediated treaty completely changes the map of the South Caucasus and assumes that most of the territories occupied by Armenia to Azerbaijan in the 1990s will again come under the control of Baku, except for a central region around Stepanakert and part of the historical territories of Karabakh.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev went so far as to affirm that Pashinyan felt so much shame to sign the treaty that he refused to do so in front of him and Russian President Vladimir Putin, mediator in the conflict, assuring that the Armenian Prime Minister had no choice but to sign what “essentially is a capitulation“, pressed by the military victories of Azerbaijan.

Former head of secret services, accused of trying to assassinate the prime minister

Proof of the great tension in Armenia since the signing of the agreement with Azerbaijan is the fact that the former head of the Armenian secret services and current opposition leader, Artur Vanetsyan, was arrested on Saturday accused of planning a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister Pashinyan and seize power.

On the same night the signing of the agreement was announced, the protesters stormed the Armenian parliament and lynched the speaker of the chamber, who ended up unconscious and in hospital. Other government buildings were also stormed by protesters, especially furious after Pashinyan – as he later acknowledged – hid for weeks real information about the military situation in Karabakh and army’s shortcomings to deal with the Azerbaijani armed forces, much better equipped.