On Monday (16 May), Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, met Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow to discuss Armenian-Russian relations.
Putin highlighted the positive steps taken to improve economic cooperation between Russia and Armenia, including increased trade turnover and the high levels of investments by Russian businesses in Armenia. He also noted the joint work on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue in the trilateral format with Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan on his part touched upon regional security and stability, underlining the key role of the OSCE Minsk Group in the process. Both leaders expressed their interest in increasing diplomatic contacts given the volume of trade and the strength of bilateral relations.
The meeting took place as part of Pashinyan's working visit to Russia, which included participation in the CSTO meeting dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Collective Security Treaty and to the 20th anniversary of the organisation. The members published a joint statement in which they addressed the need to ensure the security of the borders in the organisations area of responsibility, while also mentioning their willingness to establish practical cooperation with NATO.
During the CSTO meeting, Pashinyan stated that “there were a lot of positive things” about the organisation, but was quick to point out what he saw as some of its shortcomings. He noted that in many areas which Yerevan considered key, the CSTO was slow to react. The organisation’s unwillingness to intervene in the 44-day war, and during what Armenia sees as an incursion by Azerbaijani troops last year “did not please Armenia very much”. Pashinyan noted that “we cannot say that the organization reacted the way the Republic of Armenia expected”. He also pointed out that weapons were being sold to Azerbaijan, “a country unfriendly to Armenia”, which he alleged were then being used against Armenia. Nevertheless, as a founding member of the organisation, and one which currently holds the chairmanship, he said that Armenia was still positively disposed to help the CSTO in its further development.