Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian sees no political implications behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s congratulations to Armenia’s ex-president Robert Kocharian on his birthday extended during the reported phone conversation between the two on August 31.
“It is a matter of personal relations,” Pashinian told media on Tuesday, responding to opinions that the publication of the news about Putin’s phone conversation with Kocharian on the Kremlin’s official website shows the Russian president’s support for the former Armenian leader, who is facing coup charges in Armenia related to post-election events in 2008.
Pashinian, who is meeting with Putin on September 8 “to discuss the whole spectrum of political relations”, said: “Generally, after getting to know the president of the Russian Federation, I can say that he values human relations very much and maintains ties with current and former leaders of different countries. You saw that recently, despite quite problematic relations with the EU, he [Putin] attended a wedding ceremony for an Austrian high-ranking official, which means that human ties are of special importance to him.”
To the observation of reporters that for the past 10 years Putin did not publicly congratulate Kocharian on his birthdays, the Armenian prime minister said that he did not follow such ‘statistics’ attentively.
Pashinian also ducked another question that concerned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s September 3 statement that “Moscow is concerned that the situation in Armenia continues to boil up as events that happened a decade ago are being investigated”. “It was quite hot today,” Pashinian answered, jokingly.