Parliament Members to Seek Causes of Tension in Krasnodar

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A delegation of Armenian lawmakers will visit the southern Russian city of Krasnodar May 15–the scene of recent inter-ethnic tension. In Krasnodar–Armenian parliamentarians will be joined by counterparts from Russian State Duma (parliament)–elected from Krasnodar–to have an in-depth-look into the reasons of the tension that shows little signs of subsiding.

Chairman of Armenian parliament committee on foreign relations Hovanes Hovanesian said he had a telephone conversation with the head of local legislative body in Krasnodar who requested that the visit by Armenian lawmakers be put off–as they were going to address this issue by their own efforts.

He also told Hovanesian that a special commission had been set up by Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachov–who many believe is behind all the tension–to make an inquiry into the reported cases of violation of rights of ethnic Armenia’s and also vandalization and damaging of two dozens of Armenian tombstones in an Armenian cemetery in Krasnodar.

In an interview with the Armenian daily Azg–a Moscow-based social anthropologist of Armenian descent Sergey Harutyunyan claimed that the drive by Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachov against the non-Slavs of the region could be explained by the latter’s desire to win in the next elections on the wave of chauvinistic and anti-Caucasian feelings.

"I do not think that the tension may translate into mass violations as it would seriously damage the Kremlin’s image," Harutyunyan said–adding that he had no doubts that Tkachov was acting on orders from the Kremlin.

"The danger of a chain reaction that the tension may expand to other regions with strong minority communities is high. In regions where elections to local management bodies are expected–the Slav candidates might exploit the chauvinistic feelings of their compatriots–as the image of aliens–on whom all problems can be blamed–is a working motto," he said.

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