Baku, Azerbaijan, June 27
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
The most massive protest actions against the government were held in Yerevan June 26 evening.
Let's call a spade a spade. The actions of protest, formally caused by a rise in electricity tariffs, in fact, are the actions of protest against the government of the country. The government has been systematically reducing the standard of living of its population for many years, hoping that people can endure everything.
But people did not stand this. More and more people appear on the streets. They want to inform the government that the actions of the criminal top officials, headed by the president who usurped the power, will not remain unpunished.
They are involved in the death of not only Azerbaijani civilians, but their compatriots.
However, the Kremlin may play its role here. It does not need any problems in Armenia. Its events are more similar to the events on the Maidan in Ukraine.
Moscow is deeply concerned about the current protests in Yerevan. And this can be explained. After all, Armenia is a kind of outpost of Russia in the South Caucasus. Nobody hides this. If the power is not changed in Armenia today, the West will be able to find the opportunities to strengthen the influence in another South Caucasus republic. But the Kremlin does not want this. So, Russia can try to reassure the Armenian population by taking a few steps.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan made a statement at a meeting with Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov in Yerevan June 26. He said that the Armenian-Russian intergovernmental commission must pay special attention to the activity of Russian companies in Armenia.
He said that the intergovernmental commission should consider the possibility to hold a meticulous audit of Electric Networks of Armenia company, which is a subsidiary of the Inter RAO UES, with the assistance of the expert community and civil society. Namely this organization formally decided to raise tariffs for the population.
Sokolov said that the audit of the company will be organized with the assistance of experts and representatives of all stakeholders under the auspices of the intergovernmental commission, implementing all this in the most open and transparent manner, so that the situation in the result of the audit would become clear to everyone and so that no one would have any questions.
However, all these words have remained words for now. After the meeting of President Sargsyan with Russian minister, the members of the initiative "No to Robbery!" which is an active participant in the sitting strike in the downtown of Yerevan said that the basic requirement of the rally remains the same - reducing electricity tariffs. During the rally it was also announced that the protesters believe that the audit is a very small step.
However, in order to keep a comfortable ally in such an important region as the South Caucasus, Russia may well make concessions and reduce electricity tariffs that will definitely weaken the protest attitudes in Armenia. However, after achieving concessions in such an important issue, the Armenian youth will use the scheme of peaceful protests in any situation that does not suit the population, and the government of Armenia will not tolerate such high-handedness for a long time and will toughly react to such kind of "blackmail". So, even if today the protesters leave the streets, they will come back next time, and then these protests will not be peaceful.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is Trend Agency's staff writer, follow her on Twitter @EmmaTariver