The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany have issued a joint statement on the coming parliamentary elections in Armenia.
The Statement says:
Over the past year, the European Union, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have offered significant financial and technical support to Armenia's voting process, including providing equipment to facilitate a free and fair parliamentary election on April 2. We are pleased with the latest tests of the voter authentication equipment developed for Sunday's election. We commend the Government of Armenia for its commitment to this project to support Armenia's election process and the United Nations Development Program for its effective implementation of the project within a severely constrained timeline.
We firmly believe that this effort will diminish the likelihood of voter fraud on Election Day and will limit tampering with the electoral process inside polling stations. We state firmly that the voting process remains anonymous and that the voter authentication devices and cameras installed in polling stations are not designed to track votes. We laud and support the strong effort by credible local and international electoral observers to cover virtually the entirety of Armenia's 2009 polling stations, with the aim of providing balanced, objective analysis of the conduct of the election.
We note that our ultimate assessment of the conduct of the April 2 election will not be limited to observing electoral procedures on Election Day, itself. We are aware of and concerned by allegations of voter intimidation, attempts to buy votes, and the systemic use of administrative resources to aid certain competing parties. We continue to urge all parties engaged in the election to abide by the letter and spirit of Armenia's electoral law, and call upon relevant law enforcement authorities and electoral institutions to implement existing laws in an unbiased and credible manner.
We hope the ultimate result of the election will pave the way to a future of prosperity, peace, and progress. The Armenian people deserve as much.
You can follow the Armenian elections on a live blog on commonspace.eu from 1-3 April 2017. The live blog starts at 11.00 CET (14.00 Yerevan) on Saturday, 1 April and ends at 15.00 CET (17.00 Yerevan) on Monday 3 April.
Earlier in the day Putin made a shorty private visit to Austria, where he attended the wedding of the Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneisl, and held what was described by the Kremlin as "a brief conversation" with the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.
Addressing Armenia's foreign policy Nikol Pashinyan said he wanted a qualitative improvement in the relations with Russia and to improve relations with the EU. To those who are saying Armenia is going to the west, Pashinyan said, "Armenia is going nowhere. It is just standing on its feet"