Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has appointed his former Armenian counterpart Karen Karapetian as a senior member of a body advising the Russian government on key economic and social policies.
Karapetian will sit on the newly formed presidium of the Expert Council along with 14 other members. Among them are three former Russian prime ministers, two prominent bankers and the president of Russia’s main business association.
In an executive order reported by Russian media on Thursday, Medvedev also named Aleksandr Voloshin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former chief of staff, to coordinate the work of the broader council comprising hundreds of members.
Karapetian was appointed as Armenia’s prime minister in September 2016 by then President Serzh Sarkisian. He held that post until Sarkisian served out his final presidential term and controversially became prime minister on April 17, 2018.
Karapetian remained in government as first deputy prime minister serving under a new, parliamentary system of government. The 56-year-old technocrat took over as acting prime minister on April 23, 2018 immediately after Sarkisian resigned amid mass protests against his continued rule.
Armenia’s former parliament reluctantly chose the protest leader, Nikol Pashinian, as the country’s new leader two weeks later. Karapetian has kept a low profile and made no political statements since then.
Karapetian resigned as first deputy chairman of Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) in June 2018 and left the HHK altogether last December. Shortly afterwards he was appointed to the board of directors of a state-owned Russian oil company, Zarubezhneft.
The decision signed by Medvedev revealed that Karapetian now also works as an adviser to the chairman of Russia’s Gazprombank. It is not clear whether the former prime minister, who put forward an ambitious economic reform agenda during his tenure, now spends most of his time in Armenia or Russia.
Karapetian lived and worked in Russia from 2011-2016, holding senior positions in Gazprombank and other subsidiaries of the Gazprom energy giant. He managed Armenia’s Gazprom-owned natural gas distribution network from 2001-2010.