The Russian ambassador in Yerevan praised the current state of Russia’s relationship with Armenia on Tuesday, saying that the two countries have remained strategic allies after last year’s Armenian “velvet revolution.”
“Our relations have maintained continuity in the year that has passed since the known domestic political events and changes in Armenia,” Sergey Kopyrkin told a news conference in Yerevan. “This is probably the most important thing. They steadily develop, remain on a high level and have a character of strategic alliance.”
Kopyrkin also pointed to an 11 percent rise in Russian-Armenian trade recorded in 2018. Echoing statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin, he stressed that his country remains Armenia’s leading trading partner and foreign investor.
Putin likewise praised bilateral ties when he met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in Saint Petersburg on June 6. Pashinian described them as “strategic” in his opening remarks at the talks held on the sidelines of an international business forum.
“According to my information, the [Putin-Pashinian] meeting was constructive and productive,” said Kopyrkin. “Topical issues of our relations were discussed. The Armenian prime minister gave an assessment of the negotiations at a news conference in Saint Petersburg.”
“I understand that this contact laid yet another brick in the construction of a constructive and productive high-level dialogue between our countries,” added the diplomat.
Kopyrkin also praised the ongoing Armenian presidency of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). He confirmed that Putin is planning to attend an EEU summit that will be held in Yerevan in October.
Pashinian had strongly criticized Armenia’s accession to the EEU before the 2018 revolution that brought him to power. But he has repeatedly made clear over the past year that his country will remain part of the trade bloc as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Pashinian told Putin in Saint Petersburg that Armenia’s “economic indicators are connected in large measure to our relations in the EEU and Armenian businesses’ access to the Russian market.”