A sharp reaction from Prime Minister Pashinyan as surprise military exercises cause panic among residents of Panik village
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan described the exercises conducted by the 102nd Russian military base in Panik village as a provocation against the sovereignty of Armenia and that it affects Armenian-Russian relations.
“Those responsible for the incident must be identified and brought to justice,” Pashinyan said.
Explosions and shots in the village caused panic among residents, as they were not warned about the exercises.
Karen Sarukhanyan, the governor of Shirak region where the base is located, met with base representatives. He said that the military had apologized:
“They say that all this was a force majeure situation; they were not going to implement it in this place, for which they apologized and assured that it will not happen again.
“An official investigation is being conducted whereafter the guilty will be punished. They said they will organize an open day event and invite the residents, so that no hostility arises. They said that we are fraternal countries, it was just negligence.”
Read more on the crimes and tragedies related to the Russian military base in Gyumri.
Pashinyan’s statement was criticized by the representative of the former ruling Republican Party, Armen Ashotyan. In his opinion, there was no need to react so sharply to the incident in Panik village:
“It is unequivocal that any encroachment on the sovereignty of Armenia is unacceptable. But this case was not that. Since yesterday, the incident with the exercises could be considered exhausted in the public discourse. Accept the apologies of the Russian military and continue relations in their working order, excluding such cases in the future.”
According to Ashotyan it is dangerous to give assessments that do not correspond to the strategic depth of Russian-Armenian relations.