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Russian Federation considers Armenia a close partner and ally, - Putin

Russian Federation considers Armenia a close partner and ally, - Putin

The parliament of Armenia elected Pashinyan prime minister by the pressure of the demonstrations of the opposition, even though his own party holds a minority in the parliament. He and his supporters had pressured the country's long-term leader, Serzh Sargsyan, to step down rather than seek a power grab.

Asked about the timing of early parliamentary election, he said: "I think, this year".

Vladimir Putin in turn said that Armenia is a strategic partner of Russian Federation and one of its most important economic allies, and congratulated Pashinyan on his appointment as prime minister.

Pashinyan emphasised that there is a strong consensus in Armenia about allied relations with Russian Federation and that their importance never has and never will be put into doubt.

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Putin was among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Pashinyan, who had vowed to pursue friendly relations with Russian Federation. We expect and we possess energy to give new impetus to our relationships both in a political and economic sense.

Putin went on to praise recent years' rapid growth in bilateral trade and, in particular, Armenian exports to Russian Federation.

Russia's ties with Armenia are closer than its relations with South Caucasus neighbors Azerbaijan and Georgia - Moscow's foe in a five-day war in 2008. Prior to being appointed PM he came under some fire for having, while still only an MP, been opposed to Armenia's membership of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), but he responded that if he was made prime minister he would look at the issue from a different perspective. He said he hopes that what he called the "very good results" of recent economic cooperation will be "not just preserved but increased". Pashniyan was surrounded and greeted with applause and jubilation. I do not see such a danger.