Lavrov Says Russia Concerned Over Events in Armenia, Referring to Kocharyan’s Detention

Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister said on July 31st, that the recent arrest of former Armenian president Robert Kocharyan, contradict the new leadership’s statement that there will be no repressions against their political predecessors. He is quoted by TASS saying that Russia, as ally to Yerevan, has always been interested in stability of the Armenian state, and therefore Russia is concerned over developments in Armenia.

Lavrov hopes that the matter will be settled “constructively”. “In recent days we have repeatedly voiced our concern to the Armenian leadership,” he said. “We expect that the situation will take a constructive course.”

A Yerevan district court late on July 27, ruled that the Special Investigative Service (SIS) could hold Kocharyan for two months in pre-trial detention pending an investigation. The case dates back to late February and early March 2008, following the disputed presidential election, when then prime minister Serzh Sargsyan was declared the winner, angering the opposition, led by the first Armenian president, Levon Ter-Petrosyan and setting off 10 days of non-stop protests that led to a crackdown on March 1st, in which ten people were killed and more than two hundred injured.

Kocharyan is now charged with toppling constitutional order in collusion with other persons, and the agency has applied to court for a detention warrant.

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