YEREVAN. – Hraparak daily of Armenia writes: The NA [(National Assembly)] delegation headed by [NA speaker] Alen Simonyan has paid its first official visit to Russia.
We had written that by the order of the NA president, only the pro-government MPs were included in the delegation. The NA president's spokesperson had said that this is a private invitation to the NA president, and he had decided with whom to leave [for Moscow]; he decided not to take anyone from the opposition.
However, in the photos of the meeting yesterday we also saw Taguhi Tovmasyan, an MP of the [opposition] "With Honor" Faction. It turned out that [opposition MP] Ishkhan Zakaryan is also in the delegation. As to how the opposition MPs ended up in Moscow and why their names were not included in the order of the makeup of the delegation Tsovinar Khachatryan, the spokesperson of the NA president, said:
"The issue is that regarding these and other visits, the [parliamentary opposition] ‘Armenia’ and ‘With Honor’ blocs were proposed to nominate the members to be included in the delegation. The blocs have always nominated MPs whose exit from the country is restricted by law enforcement agencies and have refused to replace them with other MPs. There was an invitation for the members of the "Armenia" bloc, but they refused to join the NA delegation. The invitation was accepted by the "With Honor" bloc, and they are represented in the delegation."