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Armenian PM Reaffirms Plans To Deepen Ties With Russia


Armenia -- President Armen Sarkissian (second from right) visits a Russian-Armenian border guard post on Armenia's border with Turkey, July 4, 2020.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian reiterated his desire to further deepen Armenia’s relationship with Russia after holding what he described as “very productive” talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

“I am very satisfied with the results of the meeting,” Pashinian told a group of Russian-Armenian lawyers at the end of his visit to Moscow.

“We didn’t sign any documents but spoke about the further implementation of a number of documents, including on security, signed in the past,” he said, singling out Russian-Armenian treaties on a joint military contingent and air-defense system of the two states.

Echoing statements by other Armenian officials, Pashinian said that Russia is helping Armenia reform its armed forces after the autumn war in Nagorno-Karabakh. “This was one of the most important issues discussed by us,” he said without going into details.

“One thing is clear: the character of Russian-Armenian relations is strategic and this strategic cooperation must be made deeper in view of the existing challenges and situations that we face,” added Pashinian.

Pashinian announced plans for forging even closer ties with Russia shortly after Putin brokered an Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement that stopped the six-week war over Karabakh on November 10. He said Armenia needs “new security guarantees.”

The Armenian Defense Ministry announced late last month that a high-level Russian military delegation will visit Yerevan soon for further talks on defense reforms announced by Armenia’s government.

RUSSIA -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 7, 2021
RUSSIA -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the Kremlin in Moscow, April 7, 2021

Putin also emphasized the “strategic” nature of Russian-Armenian ties in his opening remarks at the meeting with Pashinian.

The two leaders discussed the implementation of the truce agreement and the restoration of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan envisaged by it. Pashinian complained that Baku is continuing to hold many Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives in breach of the deal.

Putin had a phone call with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Thursday.

Pashinian met, meanwhile, with Ara Harutiunian, the Karabakh president, in Yerevan to brief him on the results of the talks with Putin. He praised Russian peacekeeping troops deployed in Karabakh, calling them “the main protagonists of ensuring peace and stability” in the conflict zone.

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