He Says Visit to Yerevan Was Not Sparked by CIA Director’s Trip There—Just the Opposite
Russia vowed that the country has enough power and resources to protect its allies during difficult times. This message was conveyed to reporters by Russia’s foreign intelligence service chief Sergey Naryshkin who arrived in Yerevan on Monday, days after a visit to Armenia by CIA Director William Burns.
Naryskhkin unequivocally denied that his visit to Armenia’s capital was not sparked by Burns’ visit late last week.
“My visit absolutely is not related to the one by my American colleague’s visit here,” Naryshkin told reporters. “However, I don’t rule out that his [Burns’] visit wasn’t entirely related to mine,” the Russian TASS news agency reported.
Naryshkin expressed confidence that the integration processes in the CIS are a strong guarantee of stability, adding that those structures are already working in this region and cited the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization as examples.
“Those structures were created taking into account the interests of all the states that are part of them. The defense tools of the integration are a good guarantee to maintain stability and security. In addition, the Russian Federation has enough power and resources to protect allies and friends in difficult times,” said Naryshkin.
Earlier on Monday, Naryshkin met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan with whom international and regional security issues were discussed. The two also touched on the processes taking place in the South Caucasus, according to the prime minister’s press service.
Naryshkin reportedly thanked Pashinyan “for the warm reception and noted the existance of the high-level political dialogue between Armenia and Russia, which contributes to the development and strengthening of cooperation in various sectors.”
On Friday morning, Armenian and U.S. authorities were providing vague responses to inquires about whether Burns, the CIA Director, was visiting Armenia, after RFE/RL’s Armenian service asked for clarification.
By the end of the day, Burns met with Pashinyan and Armenia’s National Security Chief Armen Grigoryan and discussed efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, committing the United States support in those processes.
The U.S. has not commented on Burns visit to Yerevan.