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Russia ‘Alarmed’ By Political Crisis In Armenia


RUSSIA -- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov speaks with journalists gathered at the World Trade Centre's congress centre to follow Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing his annual press conference via a video link from the Novo-Ogaryovo state residenc

Russia expressed concern on Thursday at the political crisis in Armenia deepened by the Armenian military’s demands for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s resignation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged Armenian state and political actors to ease mounting tensions and avoid unconstitutional actions.

“We are watching the situation in Armenia with alarm,” the TASS news agency quoted Peskov as saying. “And we regard that as an exclusively internal affair of Armenia, our very important and close ally in the Caucasus.”

Peskov also said Moscow has not yet initiated contacts with Armenian leaders in connection with the dramatic developments in Yerevan. He would not be drawn on a possible Russian mediation in ending the crisis.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke with his Armenian counterpart Ara Ayvazian by phone. The Armenian Foreign Ministry said the two men “stressed the need to maintain regional security and stability.” It gave no others details.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu similarly phoned his Armenian Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian. According to the Armenian Defense Ministry’s readout of the phone call, Shoigu and Harutiunian discussed the “current situation in Armenia.”

Peskov said that political stability in Armenia is essential for a continued implementation of a Russian-brokered Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement that stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 10.

The Armenian opposition holds Pashinian responsible for the Armenian side’s defeat in the six-week war and wants him to resign. The prime minister has rejected these demands.

Russian pro-government lawmakers on Wednesday strongly condemned Pashinian for suggesting Armenia’s most advanced Russian-manufactured missiles proved useless during the hostilities.

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