While advocating for a constitutional solution to the current situation in Armenia, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has thus far stayed out of the events in Armenia, which saw the resignation of prime minister Serzh Sarkisian, signaled that he would like whatever the outcome of the political standoff to reflect the results of the April 2017 parliamentary elections that gave Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia a majority.
“It was emphasized that the resolution of the crisis situation in Armenia must happen in the solely legal field, within the framework of the current constitution, and on the basis of the results of the legitimate parliamentary elections held in April 2017,” the Kremlin said in a readout of a telephone conversation between Putin and Armenia’s Acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan on Thursday.
Kareptyan’s Republican Party of Armenia is under increasing pressure to cede control of the country to opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan who has helmed the popular protests that have essentially transformed the country.
Putin went on to underscore “the importance of the election by the parliament of the republic’s prime minister scheduled for May 1, 2018.”
Karapetyan was not the only Republican Party of Armenia leader to turn to Moscow for its input. Armenia’s acting Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorgyan flew to the Russian capital Thursday and held closed door meetings with officials.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that Nalbandian met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, saying the two ministers “discussed, in particular, the situation on the Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.” The Artsakh Defense Ministry earlier this week warned of Azerbaijani military buildup on the Artsakh-Azrbaijan border, also known as the line of contact.
A statement by the Armenian government said that Gevorgyan met with top Kremlin officials to discuss, among other things, “the internal political situation in Armenia.”
Pashinyan told his supporters during a rally on Wednesday that he met with top Russian officials, who he claimed assured him that there would be no official Kremlin intervention in the processes in Armenia.