Kocharyan is hiring Western lobbyists.

Robert Kocharyan, Armenia’s former president charged for “usurping state power”, is desperate to create a positive image of himself — and a negative one of Nikol Pashinyan, the protest leader-turned-Prime Minister.

For this purpose, Kocharyan’s lawyers have apparently hired Michael Burrell, a British lobbyist and former VP of Edelman and APCO Worldwide, now a senior international adviser for Eurasia Advisory. Curiously, Michael Burrell was at the APCO Worldwide when the firm was representing the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan, a Houston-based tax-exempt nonprofit funded by the Azerbaijani state oil firm SOCAR.

Among his other clients, the website of Eurasia Advisory, his current employer, lists Gazprom, a Russian natural gas giant with monopoly rights on the country’s gas pipeline exports. (Eurasia Advisory is a London-based PR firm run by Alexander “Alex” Andreev, a Russian citizen representing Russian coal mogul Andrey Melnichenko famous for his $500 million yacht.)

Here are the two articles written by Burrell, arguing on behalf of Kocharyan and portraying him as a victim of selective justice. Both articles call for France’s president Emmanuel Macron, whom Armenia’s leader is meeting today in Paris, to raise the question of Kocharyan’s indictment.

Sadly, both publications failed to disclose that Burrell was hired by Kocharyan’s lawyers, as identified in his aide’s email to me.

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