Krasnodar Delegation Concludes Visit

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–During a June 3 press conference–Chairman of the Armenian National Assembly Foreign Relations Commission Hovhannes Hovhannisian said that during the May 26-29 session of the CE Commission for Refugees and Migration Affairs in Lucerne–Switzerland–a sufficiently unbiased report on Armenia and Azerbaijan was introduced. According to the report–there are 570,000 deported and 120,000 refugees in Azerbaijan.

The reporter–Deputy of the Swiss parliament Wermut Mangolt–considered the rumors about the existence of 1 million refugees spread by the Azerbaijani side as false. At the same time–the fact that Armenia does not spread such false information was positively evaluated.

In Lucerne–a trilateral meeting took place between the parliamentarians of Armenia–Georgia and Azerbaijan.

At the press conference–Hovhannes Hovhannisian also presented the details of the Armenian parliamentarians’ May 30-31 visit to the Krasnodar territory. With the purpose of getting acquainted with the vital problems of the Armenian communities there–and to assist them in the resolution of their problems as much as possible–the delegation of the Armenian parliamentarians–consisting of Armen Rustamian–Armen Mkhitarian and of representatives of the executive power–met with the territory’s governor Alexander Tkachev–representatives of the Cossacks–certain branches of the executive power–the local Duma–the political forces of the Krasnodar territory and the representatives of the local Armenian community. Governor Tkachev expressed his regret over the fact that the Armenian graves in the city’s cemetery had been defiled and assured the Armenian delegates that the territory’s authorities would do their best to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The Armenian parliamentary delegation also raised the issue of establishing an Armenian consulate in the territory. The proposal was accepted by the authorities of the territory.

During the visit–the Armenian delegation had meetings with Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachov–representatives of executive authorities of the region–the Cossacks’ government–and the Armenian community of the region.

Hovhannissian–presenting the details of the visit–stressed that the visit aimed to find out the reasons of aggravation in Krasnodar and what Armenia can do to improve it. "No serious reasons for the situation’s aggravation were stated by them during all meetings. All was coming to Armenia’s’ being active in business and richer–which aroused the displeasure of local population," said the leader of the Armenian delegation. He also stated that the Cossacks approach to this issue was stricter. According to them those Armenia’s who came with them to the region are the residents of it–but those–who came during the last years must leave.

During the meetings Armenian delegation put forward a number of suggestions–which were approved by the region’s authorities. Particularly–it was agreed to open a General Consulate in the region. According to Hovhannissian–it is already four months since a General Consulate has been opened in Sochi. During this period–800 Armenian citizens applied to Consulate and received Armenian passports. The majority of them returned to Armenia. "I think that this issue will be regulated soon by Armenian Foreign Ministry"–said Hovhannissian. He also attached an importance to the bilateral relations with the region in economic–social and cultural spheres.

The Deputy chairman of National Assembly’s foreign department–delegation member Armen Rustamian considered the visit important–necessary and effective. According to him–during the meetings the sides mainly discussed the reasons of what happened. "By joint evaluation there were two reasons: First–there was an element of provocation. Even Tkachov stated that what happened at Armenian cemetery could have been characterized as a provocation. Therefore–what happened was probably organized by those forces which are concerned about Russian-Armenian relations’ deepening. This is a very important evaluation which was given during both meetings with the deputies of executive Council and with Tkachov," said Rustamian. According to him–the second reason–which was stated by both sides–is that there exists an uncontrollable migration and it threatens normal development of the region.

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