Armenian PM tells army to do its job, says only the people can decide his future
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the army on Thursday (February 25) to do its job and defend the country, and said that Armenians would not allow a military coup to take place.
Addressing his supporters at a rally after the military called on him to resign earlier on Thursday, Pashinyan said the question of his resignation could only be decided by the people because he was elected by the people.
Russia, an ally of Armenia which has a military base in Armenia, said it was alarmed by events in the former Soviet republic and called for the situation to be resolved peacefully and within the constitution.
Pashinyan, 45, has faced calls to quit since November after what critics said was his disastrous handling of a six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and surrounding areas.
Ethnic Armenian forces ceded swathes of territory to Azerbaijan in the fighting and Russia, which worries about instability in the former Soviet Union, has deployed peacekeepers to the enclave, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but populated by ethnic Armenians.