YEREVAN — Armenia’s first post-Soviet foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian, who is also the founder of Heritage party, was not allowed to enter Nagorno-Karabakh late on Sunday by Russian peacekeepers for unknown reasons.
“Russian peacekeeping forces officially barred Armenian first minister of foreign affairs and the founder of the Heritage Party Raffi Hovannisian from entering the territory of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) at the Aghavno crossing point,’ the Heritage party said in a statement.
“Showing him an order from their commander along with an accompanying photo, the soldiers at the checkpoint did not give any clear reason or justification for the refusal but confirmed that the ban could emanate from “the highest echelon’ of official Yerevan,” Heritage party statement said.
According to the Heritage party, the Artsakh government was very surprised by the ban and tried for a long time to get an explanation from the Russians, but to no avail. Artsakh representatives did not rule out the possible involvement of the Azerbaijani dictatorship in this arbitrariness, the party said.
According to it, Hovannisian and his family members were heading to Nagorno-Karabakh capital Stepanakert to attend the christening of his grandson. Hovanissian returned to Goris, Armenia while other family members continued on their way to Stepanakert.