By Emil Danielyan
Former culture minister Armen Smbatian has been appointed Armenia’s new ambassador to Russia by President Robert Kocharian, officials said on Tuesday.
The widely anticipated appointment was sealed the previous day, the presidential press office said.
Smbatian, 47, who has no diplomatic experience, will hold one of the most important Armenian diplomatic posts abroad. He served as culture minister in the administration of former president Levon Ter-Petrosian from 1996 and was replaced in 1998 shortly after Kocharian became president. He has been the rector of the Yerevan State Conservatory since then.
There was no word about reasons for the dismissal of the previous Armenian envoy to Moscow, Suren Sahakian. It is also unclear whether Sahakian has quit diplomatic service or will get another job.