Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Vladmir Putin of Russia on Wednesday met in Vladivostok where the Eastern Economic Forum is taking place.
The Karabakh issue was high on the agenda. At the start of the meeting Putin said ensuring security around Nagorno-Karabakh is “one of the most sensitive issues,” adding that he has personally discussed the matter with Pashinyan on numerous occasion. The two leaders discussed matters related to Karabakh twice last week over the phone.
Pashinyan thanked Putin for the Russian peacekeeping forces currently stationed in Artsakh.
“I have to admit, this is not an easy mission,” Pashinyan said. “We have talked about it many times. We highly appreciate the activities of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, in the Lachin Corridor, and I think it is very important to highlight that. In general, in the sense of ensuring security in Nagorno-Karabakh, there are nuances that we constantly discuss.”
Pashinyan also reiterated that Russia is Armenia’s closest partner and strategic ally. “And particularly in these difficult times, constant communication and clarification of positions are very important,” Pashinyan said in remarks publicized by his office ahead of the meeting Putin.
Putin also boasted about Russia’s economic investments in Armenia, saying that “Russia confidently maintains the first place among Armenia’s trade and economic partners.”
“We are expanding the range of companies and people who cooperate with each other. In the near future, business operators are also going to meet, and they will also hold a regional forum. Other events are also planned, including in humanitarian, cultural and educational fields,” said Putin.
Earlier in the day, during the economic summit, Pashinyan warned that the international attention focused on the Ukraine conflict could threaten the stability of the South Caucasus region. In what appeared a reference to Azerbaijan, Pashinyan said that certain actors in the region were taking advantage of the Ukraine crisis to advance their risky agendas in the region.