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February 23
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YEREVAN. – The Russian State Duma website informs that Duma Deputy Chairman Petr Tolstoy has replaced Nikolai Ryzhkov as the Russian side’s co-chair of the Armenian-Russian Inter-Parliamentary Commission, Zhamanak (Time) newspaper reported.

“The reason is the offensive expressions which Ryzhkov voiced in April of last year, addressed to [incumbent] Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan [of Armenia]

“In April of last year, a delegation of Russian parliamentarians, led by Ryzhkov, had met with Armenian MPs at the parliament of Armenia, during which Ryzhkov had compared the events [then] taking place in Armenia with the Ukrainian Maidan and, referring to [then] movement leader Nikol Pashinyan, had said, ‘That fool will never become prime minister.’

“Ryzhkov will hardly to come to a country where the prime minister is Nikol Pashinyan, albeit he [Nikolai Ryzhkov] is the only living national hero of Armenia,” Zhamanak wrote.

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