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Putin Urges Calm In Armenia


RUSSIA -- Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) board in Moscow, February 24, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian by phone on Thursday after Moscow expressed concern at the political crisis in Armenia deepened by the Armenian military’s demands for the government’s resignation.

“Vladimir Putin spoke in favor of maintaining order and calm in Armenia and resolving the situation within the framework of the law,” the Kremlin said in a statement on the phone call.

“The head of the Russian state called on all parties to show restraint,” it said.

Speaking earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov likewise urged Armenian state and political actors to ease their 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 would not be drawn on a possible Russian mediation in ending the crisis.

ARMENIA -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian addresses his supporters during a gathering on Republic Square in Yerevan, February 25, 2021
ARMENIA -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian addresses his supporters during a gathering on Republic Square in Yerevan, February 25, 2021

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Armenian counterpart Ara Ayvazian also spoke with 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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