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YEREVAN. – Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday received Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu and his delegation.

Welcoming the Russian Minister of Defense, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted: "Dear Sergey, [son] of Kuzhuget, I welcome you to Armenia. This is a very important visit. I would like to note that during the [recent Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh)] war, we have always felt the support of the Russian Federation, the President, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, your personal support. I want to thank you for that.

Of course, it was a difficult period before the war, too, but now it is a more difficult time, and we hope that during this period we will be able to deepen our cooperation with the Russian Federation, including in the field of security—and not only security, but also military-technical cooperation.

Now, of course, the military-political situation in our region is different. It has changed, and all the parameters of that situation still need to be studied. And, of course, I am confident that in the spirit of Armenia’s and Russia’s strategic cooperation and brotherly friendship, our ties will continue to deepen, our cooperation will be closer and more strategic in the near future and in the strategic future. Thank you."

In his remarks, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu noted: "Dear Nikol, [son] of Vova, thank you for the reception and the meeting. We have come with completely concrete, specific issues. You know that after the signed statement we called—in the fastest way—the entire [Russian] peacekeeping contingent, the deployment of which we completed the day before yesterday. During these days, we [Russia] have been deployed in practically the whole territory of Karabakh—with 23 observation posts, we oversee the road leading to [the Artsakh capital] Stepanakert, the Lachin corridor, and we ensure the movement, the return of the refugees who left there.

Much work is expected in the future; this time, I hope, to establish a peaceful life in Karabakh. Of course, our main task is not to allow [further] bloodshed; a task set before us by our Commander-in-Chief [of Russia], and we certainly intend to carry it out. In addition, we intend to discuss issues related to the future life and work of our peacekeepers and what is needed for that. And, naturally, to discuss all the issues related to our cooperation in both military and military-technical direction. We have come with a huge program, and we hope to implement it. Thank you."

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the military and military-technical cooperation between Armenia and Russia was discussed at the ensuing meeting.

On November 9, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on a complete cessation of hostilities— which Azerbaijan had launched on September 27—in and around Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Accordingly, Russian peacekeepers will be deployed in the region to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities.

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