YEREVAN. – Commenting on the matter of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expected arrival in Armenia within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Assembly on October 1, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said that it was the EAEU leaders who had decided that the meeting should be in Armenia, and that Putin was not coming as a guest, Zhamanak (Time) newspaper reported.
“The matter of Vladimir Putin’s arriving-not arriving in Armenia has, so to speak, been the subject of discussion in the context of another—Kocharyan’s, [second President] Robert Kocharyan’s—case.
“An information campaign is obvious that Putin, being dissatisfied with the fact of Kocharyan being under detention, will not arrive in Armenia. [But] there was also information that upon arriving in Armenia, he has a wish to visit the prison and meet with Robert Kocharyan.
“The fact that the Armenian-Russian relationship is at a non-standard phase is obvious.
“It is without a doubt that much depends on the [Armenian PM Nikol] Pashinyan-Putin relationship. The whole question, however, is what the priority is for Putin in those relations.
“In case of boycotting the Assembly to take place in Yerevan, the loser will not be Armenia, but Russia, which, with the velvet revolution in Armenia, has had the opportunity to have a unique true ally and partner, and perhaps even a unique ally and partner internationally, in the Caucasus,” Zhamanak wrote.