A new poll released by the International Republican Institute (IRI) on May 1st suggests that attitudes toward Russia have been declining for the last several years, whereas positive views toward Turkey have increased. According to the poll, 49-percent of Armenians believe that relations between Armenia and Russia are bad, compared to 34-percent in December 2021. Meanwhile, 23-percent of respondents said that relations with Turkey are good, compared to five-percent in the previous polling period. When asked what the main problem is facing Armenia, 44-percent, a clear plurality, said national security and border issues. “There appears to be a clear expectation of the government to prioritize strengthening Armenia’s armed forces and protecting the border,” said Stephen Nix, senior director for Eurasia at IRI.
Non-governmental organizations that provide humanitarian assistance to refugees have called for the creation of a special body in the Armenian government to address refugee issues. In a joint statement released after an April 29 conference in Yerevan, the NGOs appealed to the authorities of Armenia and Artsakh to initiate legal processes to demand compensation for property losses due to displacement. They said that the United Nations should discuss the “xenophobic, anti-Armenian, racist policy” of Azerbaijan, “which has the goal of expelling from their ancestral homelands or eliminating hundreds of thousands of our compatriots.” “All Armenian refugees and displaced persons, at least those who want to, should be given the opportunity to return to their homeland,” the statement reads.
Pro-government parties in Georgia have endorsed a bill banning “queer propaganda.” The bill was submitted by the European Socialists to parliament and has gained the support of the ruling Georgian Dream party. Mamuka Mdinaradze, the parliamentary leader of Georgian Dream, warned that “queer propaganda” could “dramatically increase the number of representatives of a particular group.” The bill resembles Russia’s queer propaganda law that prohibits dissemination of materials about non-heterosexual relationships to children. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Russian legislation is discriminatory. Georgian queer rights activists have said that the purpose of the bill is to “sabotage” Georgia’s bid for European Union membership.
An Armenian plane was banned from entering Turkish airspace after the unveiling of a monument in Yerevan on April 25 commemorating Operation Nemesis. A Flyone Armenia plane traveling from Paris to Yerevan was forced to land in Moldova on April 29. “Turkey is sincere in its desire to normalize relations with Armenia, but the installation of the Nemesis monument in Armenia is unacceptable,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on May 3. “If necessary, we will allow planes into our country, but we will not allow airplanes and private planes to fly through our airspace while the provocations continue.” Operation Nemesis was a covert plot to assassinate the architects of the Armenian Genocide.
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