Armenia and Russia will soon implement a joint humanitarian program in Syria, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on September 8.
Talking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), the head of the Armenian government stressed that the program will be a completely humanitarian one and will not contain any military component. Pashinian gave no details of the program.
The Armenian prime minister also said that during his talks with the Russian leader they did not address Azerbaijan’s possible accession to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), an issue that became a topic for discussions in Armenia in the wake of a relevant statement by a pro-government Azerbaijani lawmaker.
Ali Huseynli said in late August that Baku should “seriously consider” applying for membership in the CSTO, saying that would increase chances of a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement favorable to his country. He also said that the CSTO gives its member states major military and economic benefits.
If official Baku wishes to do so, “it will be clear what Armenia’s position will be,” said Pashinian.
Late last month acting Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalian said that “if Azerbaijan moves to become a member of the CSTO Armenia will use its veto power [to block its entry].”
As for military-technical cooperation with Russia, the Armenian prime minister said that “relevant departments will talk about concrete programs.”
Pashinian described the state of Armenian-Russian relations as “brilliant” after his meeting with Putin. “There are no problems in our relations in any direction,” he said in a Facebook post shortly after the end of the talks.
The Armenian prime minister repeated that statement at a meeting with dozens of ethnic Armenian businessmen in Moscow during which he urged them to make investments in Armenia.