By Emil Danielyan
Breaking his silence on the crisis in neighboring Georgia, President Serzh Sarkisian telephoned his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday to discuss the dramatic developments of the past week.
“During the phone conversation President Dmitry Medvedev briefed Serzh Sarkisian on the course of negotiations aimed at finding a way out of the situation,” the Armenian leader’s press office said in a statement. “The presidents of the two countries agreed to hold, if need be, additional consultations on further developments.”
A separate statement by the Kremlin also gave few details of the phone call. “The heads of state stressed the importance of taking all necessary measures in order to prevent a repeat of what happened and to ensure a quick normalization of the situation in the region,” it said without elaborating. The statement added that the conversation took place “at the imitative of the Armenian side.”
Sarkisian’s office did not say if he plans to have a similar discussion with Georgia’s embattled President Mikheil Saakashvili, whose attempt to restore Tbilisi’s control over South Ossetia triggered a harsh Russian retaliation. Moscow has said Saakashvili is personally responsible for the deadly conflict and made clear that it will not negotiate with him.
Sarkisian was in Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games when fighting in South Ossetia broke out last Thursday. He chose not interrupt his continuing vacation in China, prompting strong criticism from Armenia’s main opposition groups led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian.