May 23
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The situation remains tense near Voskepar village, in the border area of Armenia’s Tavush Province.

The local residents blocking the motorway leading to Georgia do not allow demining to be carried out in the area.

At some point, the protesters ran to the part where, according to them, the authorities want to carry out demining operations.

Information was received on Sunday that the special police forces were approaching the blocked area.

On Sunday morning, the police tried to convince the villagers to unblock the road, but the negotiations were unsuccessful.

This protest has brought together the residents of not only Kirants and Voskepar villages, but also of many other border villages of Armenia’s Tavush Province, which will be in even greater danger if the Armenian authorities’ plan to hand over eight villages to Azerbaijan is implemented. In the first phase, four non-enclave villages are planned to be handed over to Azerbaijan, then—four enclave villages. In this case, the Azerbaijani military will be literally a few meters away from the Armenian villages; in the case of Kirants, practically in the village itself. In addition, the aforesaid interstate motorway sections that these residents have blocked, the Russian natural gas pipeline coming from Georgia, the strategic heights, and the local communication facilities also will pass to the Azerbaijanis.

The residents of the aforementioned villages blocked the road a few days ago, but then they unblocked it after negotiations and an agreement that no one would do anything until Monday. However, on Sunday morning, the villagers noticed that the National Security Service was trying to clear the area of landmines in order to withdraw the troops. The residents, upset by this deception, blocked the aforesaid motorway section again.

According to the villagers, so far no representative of the government from Yerevan has expressed a desire to come and talk with them.

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