In an interview published today (6 April) with Russia’s Interfax news agency, the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, has indicated his country’s commitment to “broad and long-term military-technical cooperation with the Russian Federation”. Amongst other things, the Prime Minister affirmed the intention to buy Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets from the Russians, noting that it is envisaged in both Armenia’s bilateral treaties with Russia as well as Armenia’s programme for the development of its armed forces.
During the Interfax interview, syndicated on the website of the Prime Minister’s press office, Pashinyan stated that Armenian-Russian relations are “quite rich and extensive” and rely on “the historical proximity of our friendly peoples”, and thus, will not be affected by the 20 June Armenian parliamentary elections regardless of the outcome.
Pashinyan’s comments come just a day before a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss, amongst other things, the progress of the tripartite working group, charged with implementing the 10 November ceasefire agreement between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.
Within the interview, Pashinyan was also asked about the extent to which the opening up of regional economic ties depends on the normalisation of Armenian relations with Turkey. The Prime Minister responded by noting that it was Ankara, not Yerevan, that unilaterally closed the countries’ border in 1993. The leader highlighted Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan during last year’s 44-day war, referring to it as a “new dimension” of Ankara’s “hostile policy” to Armenia. The Prime Minister ended the question on Armenian-Turkish relations by saying, “In this context, Turkey needs to change this aggressive policy toward Armenia so that lasting peace is established and a semblance of an economy is restored in the region.”