Armenian Ex-President Kocharian Barred From Leaving Country For Moscow Meeting- Opposition

YEREVAN (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th September, 2021) A court in Yerevan refused to let former Armenian President Robert Kocharian leave the country for several scheduled meetings with the leadership of the ruling Russian party in Moscow, Kocharian's opposition bloc Armenia Alliance said on Friday.

Kocharian, who is currently a defendant in a criminal case, was planning to visit Moscow at the invitation of the United Russia party.

"On September 19, the sides were expected to discuss cooperation between the parties, as well as a wide range of other issues. However, the court of the first instance did not grant permission to Kocharian's departure from the country, without justifying the refusal. Kocharian has visited Moscow several times before, and the court did not have any issue then," the bloc said in a statement.

The decision is yet another indication that the authorities are pressuring the court, attempting to limit the political activities of the country's opposition, according to the bloc.

On June 21, Armenia held snap parliamentary elections. The Civil Contract Party of Armenia's prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, won with 53.92% of the vote, followed by Armenia Alliance with 21.04%. Kocharian said that his bloc would challenge the results in the Constitutional Court and has since accused the ruling party of political prosecution.

The former Armenian president, alongside former Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorgyan, have been accused of soliciting a $3 million bribe in 2008. The case is currently in court.