Opposition supporters demanding the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan blocked the Yerevan-Sevan highway on May 3.
“The road was blocked by several cars, including trucks. The police arrived at the scene, they are trying to unblock the traffic, ”Sputnik Armenia reports.
The oppositionists also tried to block the road to the Yerevan Zvartnots airport – a group of drivers in cars lined up along the road, thereby blocking the path. Nearby, people chant slogans and light flares.
Earlier that day, activists blocked a number of streets in the center of Yerevan and on the outskirts. As a result, traffic jams formed throughout the city. From time to time, law enforcement officers managed to unblock the streets, but new groups of activists blocked them again.
Anti-government actions, marches and rallies have been held in Yerevan since April 17. The protesters express disagreement with the position of Pashinyan, stipulated by him in parliament on April 14, which is the need to “lower the bar on the status of Karabakh” and sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.
On May 1, the vice speaker of the country’s parliament, a member of the Dashnaktsutyun party, Ishkhan Saghatelyan, said at a rally that the Opposition Party of Armenia intends to start round-the-clock protests from May 2 in Yerevan in order to seek the resignation of the country’s prime minister.
The next day, opposition supporters gathered for a rally in France Square in Yerevan. They called for Pashinyan’s resignation and said that after that everything in the country would “automatically normalize.” Then it was reported about 125 detainees at the protest.
The issue of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is discussed at the highest level of the heads of three states – Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. As Alexander Iskandaryan, director of the Yerevan Caucasus Institute, told Izvestia on April 19, the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Armenian Prime Minister, which took place on the same day, is an attempt to take a step towards stabilizing the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to him, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is quite complicated, it cannot be called calm, since clashes and skirmishes occur from time to time.
On April 7, Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev instructed the foreign ministers of the republics to begin preparations for peace talks.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have disputed ownership of Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Then the region, which is inhabited mainly by Armenians, announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR. During the military conflict of 1992-1994, Baku lost control over Karabakh. In September 2020, Baku took control of a number of settlements during military operations.
In November 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan, with the participation of Russia, signed an agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. The document, among other things, provided for the introduction of Russian peacekeepers into the region, the exchange of prisoners between the parties to the conflict, the transfer by Armenia to Azerbaijan of a number of regions of the region and the return of refugees to Karabakh.