Pashinyan meets Putin in Moscow at the start of an official visit (updated)

The Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, was in Moscow earlier today (19 April), to meet with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. 

The two leaders discussed a variety of issues related to the agenda of Armenian-Russian bilateral cooperation. This included economic relations, where Putin noted an uptick in trade between the two countries.

Putin however admitted that security issues would dominate the coming discussions, in particular as they relate to Nagorno-Karabakh. He said there were still many problems, but he was confident that the constant contact between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan would help in this respect. 

Pashinyan on his part said his visit had both practical and symbolic meaning, given that it is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and that it showed that Armenian-Russian relations “are at a very high level”.

He also touched upon the strength of the personal relationship he had with Putin, which he attributed to the rich bilateral relations in all shared sectors. He discussed Russia’s key role in organisations that Armenia is a part of, such as the EAEU, the CIS, and the CSTO, and called Russia a "strategic partner".

The Armenian PM also thanked Putin for the work undertaken by the Russian military contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. He did note, however, that there might be ways to increase the effectiveness of the Russian forces. 

After the meeting, a package of documents was signed, including: The Memorandum on Cooperation in the Social-Labor Sphere between the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Russian Federation; The 2022-2023 Compulsory Enforcement Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and the Federal Service of Judicial Bailiffs of the Russian Federation; the "Comprehensive program of Armenian-Russian cooperation in the field of energy and non-energy projects"; the Protocol on the Integration of Information Systems in the Field of Plant Quarantine between the Government of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control of the Russian Federation and the Food Safety Inspection Body of the Republic of Armenia; the Cultural Cooperation Program between the Ministries of Education, Science, Culture, Sport, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and Armenia"; and the 2022-2023 cooperation program "Between the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation".

The leaders of both countries issued a joint statement following their meeting, in which they addressed a variety of issues which they had discussed, including the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the peace process with Azerbaijan, and the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Turkey.

The statement, which comprises 30 points, states that the leaders emphasised “the decisive contribution of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to the provision of security of Nagorno-Karabakh and the creation of favourable and safe living conditions for the population”. It added that “the parties stressed the need for the prompt solutions to urgent humanitarian tasks and the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement by political and diplomatic means”. In this context, the two leaders also underlined the importance of using “the experience and potential of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs, in accordance with its international mandate”.

Pashinyan and Putin also agreed to “intensify the trilateral cooperation between Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan”, with the aim of supporting the normalisation process.

As part of his working trip, Pashinyan has also met with the Russian prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, the Chairman of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, and the Chairwoman of the Federation Council Russia, Valentina Matviyenko.

source: and agencies
photo: Toivo Klaar in Baku to meet with Aliyev; Office of the president of Azerbaijan