Putin urges Armenian leader to uphold rule of law amid protests
MOSCOW, April 15
Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged his Armenian counterpart
Robert Kocharian to uphold stability and the rule of law amid a spate
of opposition protests aimed at his rule, the foreign ministry said
During a phone call with Kocharian, Putin “expressed his certainty
that Armenia’s leadership will be able to use a substantial saved-up
potential of democratic reforms to uphold stability and the rule of
law,” the ministry said in a statement.
The talks followed a police breakup of an anti-government
demonstration in the capital Yerevan on Monday, using water cannon and
reportedly injuring dozens of protestors.
Armenia’s opposition, which claims that Kocharian rigged a run-off
presidential vote in March 2003 to secure a second term in office, has
been staging almost nightly protests in Yerevan for the past week,
demanding that the Armenian leader resign.
Armenian authorities claim the protests are an attempt to copy the
“rose revolution” that toppled the leadership of Eduard Shevardnadze
in neighboring Georgia late last year.