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Thousands of Armenians demonstrate in Yerevan, demanding that the PM resign due to a border dispute with Azerbaijan.

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Thousands of Armenians poured into Yerevan’s streets on Thursday in a passionate show of disapproval, calling for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to step down right once. The controversy surrounds Pashinyan’s contentious decision to hand over border village control to Azerbaijan, which is seen as a surrender to Armenia’s longtime foe.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at odds and fought two wars over territorial claims. Simmering tensions were stoked again by Armenia’s recent decision to cede authority of these communities, which incited widespread indignation and condemnation.

Leading the demonstrations were prominent figures, such as a senior cleric from the Armenian church, and they culminated in Republic Square following a symbolic march of 100 miles from border settlements. Videos of crowds of protesters waving Armenian flags flooded social media, demonstrating the strength of the public’s opposition to Pashinyan’s government.

Speaking to the passionate assembly, Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan gave Pashinyan an hour to resign, citing his purported accountability for the territorial compromises. He signalled the demonstrators’ unwavering commitment when he called for nonviolent civil disobedience in the event that the prime minister disregarded their demands.

In the meantime, amid the growing chaos, Pashinyan held crucial negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The encounter highlighted Armenia’s careful geopolitical balancing act against the backdrop of worsening relations between the old allies.

Agreements to remove Russian military from specific Armenian regions were revealed by Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokeswoman, and they reflect the changing dynamics in the area. The talks also covered topics related to bilateral trade and security concerns in the region, underscoring the complex nature of relations between Russia and Armenia.

But after Azerbaijan’s military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in the resumption of hostilities and thousands of people being displaced, tensions between the two countries have simmered. Tensions within the Russo-Armenian alliance have increased as a result of accusations made by Armenian officials that Russian peacekeepers are powerless to stop aggression by Azerbaijan.

To make matters worse, Moscow has become displeased with Armenia’s turn to the West, leading to protests and retaliatory actions. Armenia’s suspension of fees to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and Pashinyan’s attempts to strengthen ties with the European Union and NATO highlight a larger geopolitical realignment.

Although openly admitting that there are mutual obstacles, the Kremlin has reaffirmed its dedication to communication and collaboration. Recognising the complexity of the relationship between Russia and Armenia, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov underlined the need for continued engagement in spite of current divisions.

The future of Prime Minister Pashinyan is in jeopardy as Armenia struggles with both internal dissension and outside influences. The confluence of historical hostilities, internal grudges, and geopolitical objectives highlights the delicate balance Armenia must walk in its pursuit of stability and autonomy.

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