WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — The US State Department has warned Armenia’s armed forces to stay out of politics but stopped short of calling their demands for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation a coup attempt.
The department spokesman, Ned Price, said late on Thursday, February 25, that the United States is “very closely” monitoring political developments in Armenia.
“We urge all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid any escalatory or violent actions,” Price told a daily news briefing in Washington. “We remind all parties of the bedrock democratic principle that states’ armed forces should not intervene in domestic politics.”
“The United States has been a steadfast supporter of the development of democratic processes and institutions in Armenia. We continue to support Armenia’s democracy and its sovereignty, and we urge its leaders to resolve their differences peacefully while respecting the rule of law, Armenia’s democracy, and its institutions,” he said.
The US Embassy in Yerevan issued a similar statement earlier on Thursday amid mounting political tensions in the country.
In an unprecedented statement, the Armenian military’s top brass demanded the resignation of Pashinyan and his government, accusing them of putting Armenia “on the brink of destruction” after the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Pashinyan rejected the demand as an attempt to stage a military coup.