Politics 14:15 07/05/2024 Armenia

Analyst says Pashinyan-Putin meeting may be one of most crucial in recent years

Analyst Sergei Melkonian, a research fellow at the Applied Policy Research Institute of Armenia (APRI Armenia), believes the upcoming talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Moscow may become one of the most significant meetings for Armenian-Russian relations and Armenian foreign policy priorities in recent years.

Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonyan on Monday unveiled Pashinyan’s decision to shun Putin’s inauguration ceremony held today. Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said later that the two leaders would hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the EAEU summit in Moscow on Wednesday 8 May.

Speaking about messages of Pashinian's refusal to participate in Putin's inauguration ceremony, Melkonian noted: “The messages, perceptions and interpretations of Pashinyan's non-participation in Vladimir Putin's inauguration can be very different, including that it is not a priority for us, we have a more pressing agenda, both internal and external, and do not have time to participate in events, including the May 9 parade.”

“It is not ruled out that there will be speculations that Armenia does not consider the recent presidential elections in Russia as “free and fair”, as stated by the EU and a number of countries," the analyst told Panorama.am in an interview on Tuesday.

“However, in fact, as I have already said, Armenia seeks to show that this is not a foreign policy priority for the country. Notably, Pashinyan attended the inauguration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has publicly declared his goals, targets the Armenian Diaspora and the Armenian Church, as well as calls Armenia's national agenda hostile to Turkey. In the case of Putin’s inauguration, Pashinyan indicates that this is not a foreign policy priority for Armenia,”

The expert says reactions to the Armenian premier’s move could be negative, neutral and positive.

“Russia has a list of unfriendly countries, which those that pursue some kind of policy against Russia. Armenia is not on that list yet,” Melkonian remarked.

Asked what could be expected from the upcoming meeting of Putin and Pashinyan, the analyst said: “To be honest, it’s difficult for me to answer that question. As a result of this meeting, Russia should decide what position to take towards Armenia, while Armenia, more precisely, the current authorities of the country, should present their approaches to Moscow on a number of fundamental issues. Afterwards, a lot will become clear for Russia as well.”

“Today we hear negative statements from Russia, but they still are not part of political decisions or state policy. Therefore, Russia's approach will be clear after this meeting, depending on what priorities Nikol Pashinyan will put on the agenda and what they will agree on. It’s very difficult to make any assessments now. It could become one of the most crucial meetings of recent years,” the analyst stated.

Source Panorama.am
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