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PM Pashinyan's Visit to Tavush Villages Kirants, Baghanis, and Voskepar Turns Tense

PM Pashinyan's Visit to Tavush Villages Kirants, Baghanis, and Voskepar Turns Tense

The Armenian government made a visit to the villages of Baghanis, Voskepar, and Kirants in Tavush Province today. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan, Minister of Internal Affairs Vahe Ghazaryan, and Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Gnel Sanosyan, engaged with the local communities, but the visit was marred by tensions and confrontations.

The Prime Minister began his visit in Baghanis, where he met with few residents at a local school. The meeting's atmosphere quickly became tense when reporter Ani Gevorgyan was forcibly removed prior to the PM’s arrival due to a media ban on covering the event.

Heavy security surrounded Pashinyan and his team, with security and police officers instructed to block reporters from performing their duties. Among those prevented from reporting were Ani Khachatryan of The Armenian Report and Robert Zargaryan of Azatutyun Media. Police officers were seen surrounding the vehicle where Gevorgyan, Khachatryan, and Zargaryan were seated.

Following Baghanis, Pashinyan's delegation traveled to Voskepar, where they visited the 7th-century Armenian church. The Prime Minister lit a candle in a brief, solemn ceremony before continuing to Kirants.

In Kirants, Pashinyan inspected a new school under construction. During the visit, a local villager named Hakhtanak confronted the Prime Minister inside the school, questioning the proximity of the new facility to Azerbaijani troops stationed 30 kilometers away. The altercation resulted in Hakhtanak being escorted out by security.

After exiting the school, the Prime Minister visited Hakhtanak's house nearby. In a heated exchange outside the residence, Hakhtanak showed Pashinyan his medals and challenged the Prime Minister's border delimitation and demarcation policies. Pashinyan responded by presenting a map of Armenia, referencing the 1976 map of the USSR's Armed Forces. He emphasized the map's importance, stating, that these maps have a very important and significant role in the further development of the independence and sovereignty of our state.

Despite the Prime Minister's insistence on the map's legitimacy, Hakhtanak refused to accept the new borders, arguing that the true border markers were placed by his ancestors.

The flowers that Pashinyan placed at a memorial of war heroes in Kirants, a local resident removed after the PM left. 

The visit concluded with Pashinyan and his entourage leaving Tavush under heavy security, declining to answer further questions from the media, including those from The Armenian Report.

The day's events highlight the ongoing tensions and challenges faced by the Armenian government in addressing local concerns and maintaining national security amidst complex geopolitical dynamics.


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