The two men held separate talks after Putin hosted a trilateral meeting with Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev that focused on the implementation of a Russian-brokered agreement that stopped the war on November 10.
In his opening remarks at the talks, Pashinian again praised Putin’s role in halting the six-week hostilities that left thousands of soldiers dead.
“Of course, your personal contribution to the [Karabakh] peace process has always been noticeable, especially now, after the known events,” he said. “I am confident that against the backdrop of these events the relations between Armenia and Russia will deepen.”
“Russia has been and remains our main strategic ally in the security sphere,” added the Armenian leader.
“Our relations certainly were, are and will remain allied in all respects,” Putin said for his part. He noted that despite the coronavirus pandemic and the Karabakh war Russian-Armenian trade grew by almost 4 percent in January-October 2020.
Pashinian announced plans to further deepen the Russian-Armenian relationship in a televised address to the nation aired on New Year’s Eve. He said his country needs “new security guarantees” now.
Armenia already has close political, economic and military ties with Russia. It hosts a Russian military base and has long received Russian weapons at knockdown prices and even for free.
Moscow also deployed 2,000 peacekeeping troops to Karabakh as part of the truce agreement brokered by Putin. In addition, it dispatched Russian soldiers and border guards to Armenia’s Syunik region southwest of Karabakh to help the Armenian military defend it against possible Azerbaijani attacks.