Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Armenia’s acting prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, who will be in Russia on a working visit on Wednesday, the Kremlin press service said.
The agenda includes discussion of the implementation of the statements on Nagorno-Karabakh made by the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 9, 2020, and January 11, 2021.
“Special attention will be devoted to support for the residents of the war-ravaged districts, and also the restoration of economic and transport links in the region,” the Kremlin press service said.
Besides, the two leaders plan to discuss “current aspects of the development of Russia-Armenia strategic partnership and alliance, as well as the outlook for building up cooperation within the framework of Eurasian integration associations”.
It will be Pashinyan’s first visit to Moscow after his Civil Contract party secured victory in the June 20 early parliamentary elections with 53.91% of the vote. The Armenia bloc of former president Robert Kocharyan came in second with 21.9% of the vote. The I Have Honor bloc of another ex-president, Serzh Sargsyan, joined the parliament with 5.22% of the vote.
During the election campaign, the acting premier repeatedly spoke in favor of allied relationship with Russia, both in the spheres of security and economy, and signaled his country’s interest in having Russian border guards deployed at areas of tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Pashinyan also thanked Russia for helping to end hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020 and for deploying a peacekeeping force to the region.
Pashinyan’s previous visit to Moscow took place in early April. The two leaders had a phone call on June 24. In particular, they discussed the topic of Nagorno-Karabakh, and agreed to further personal contacts, the Kremlin said.
Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent areas
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at the positions that they had maintained, and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh and along the Lachin Corridor that connects Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
After the end of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, when several districts adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh came under Baku’s control, the Armenian-Azerbaijani border started to run along an area in close proximity to the Syunik and Gegharkunik regions. Territorial disputes between the two sides have surfaced from time to time.
Russia is the leading trading partner and the main investor in the Armenian economy. Both countries are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). They also cooperate within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
The Russian 102nd Military Base, with about 5,000 servicemen, is located in Armenia’s Gyumri, and is the only Russian base in the Transcaucasian region.
In all, more than 270 treaties and agreements have been signed between Russia and Armenia.