Armenian MFA Sends Protest Note to Russia, says Mkhitar Hayrapetyan

Armenian MFA Sends Protest Note to Russia, says Mkhitar Hayrapetyan

Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodged a formal protest against Russia for violating Article 5 of the agreement on cooperation in mass communication between the two governments. This was revealed by the Minister of High-tech Industry, Mkhitar Hayrapetyan, during a question and answer session in the National Assembly.

The Minister was responding to the observations made by Armen Khachatryan, a deputy of the “Civil Agreement” faction. Khachatryan pointed out that Russian TV channels continue to broadcast content that uses derogatory and offensive language. The Minister responded by disclosing that a formal protest had been lodged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia with its Russian counterparts.

Hayrapetyan further elaborated that on February 26, the Commission of Television and Radio had written to them about these violations. Upon consultation and review, it was confirmed that indeed, there were violations of the agreement. The Minister emphasized the sensitive nature of the issue and cautioned against allowing different groups to politicize the matter. He affirmed that it was unnecessary to look for political contexts in this situation.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, the Minister sent a letter to his Russian counterpart, the Minister of Communications and Digital Development, suggesting immediate consultations. He further expressed that if both the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia are indeed committed to the agreement but violations continue to occur, it raises the question whether there is a need to revise the provisions of the agreement.

It’s worth noting that towards the end of last year, the Armenian Ministry of High Technology stated that the Russian side had acknowledged the fact that they had violated the bilateral cooperation agreement with Armenia in the area of mass communication.

As per the agreement between Armenia and Russia, effective from December 2020, Russian TV channels broadcasting in Armenia’s public multiplexes should abstain from addressing local domestic political topics, refrain from spreading hate speech and so on. However, two Russian state television channels, particularly in the last fall, actively criticized the Armenian authorities, including the dissemination of false information.