Russia is planning to open a consulate in Armenia's southern Syunik region, the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Vahan Kostanyan announced on Monday (19 June).
"The issue of opening a consulate-general in specifically Kapan is being discussed," Kostanyan told reporters, adding that Armenia welcomes their "international partners’ desire and interest to have diplomatic presence in Syunik in order to be able to better familiarise themselves with the situation on the ground".
A senior official from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Paltov, previously announced the plans late last month, saying that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had discussed and welcomed them during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 25 May in Moscow.
Visiting Syunik's capital of Kapan, where the consulate will be located, Paltov last week described the planned consulate as a "very important step", adding that the mission would provide consular services to about a thousand Russian nationals currently based in Syunik.
RFE/RL's Armenian Service writes that most of the Russian national currently based in Syunik are soldiers and border guards who were deployed by Moscow during and after the Second Karabakh War in 2020.
Iran opens Syunik consulate in October 2022
Iran, which shares a border with Armenia's Syunik region, opened their own consulate in Kapan in October 2022.
On that occasion, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran "regards the security of Armenia and the region as its own security", adding that their policy is "to respect territorial integrity and internationally recognised borders".
"Syunik province is one of the most important sections of the North-South corridor," he said. "We regard Armenia as one of the most important countries situated along the North-South highway and will do our best to develop this transit route."