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Armenian leader visits Russia despite tensions, promises economic cooperation

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, whose relations with Russia have become strained this year, said that when Armenia assumes the rotating presidency of an economic alliance dominated by Moscow, he will try to crack down on policies hampering regional development. ..

TALLINN, Estonia — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, whose relations with Russia have become strained this year, said Monday that when Armenia assumes the rotating presidency of an economic alliance dominated by Moscow, he will try to crack down on policies hindering integration regional.

Armenia is set to become the presiding country of the Eurasian Economic Union in 2024. The bloc, established in 2014, includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as well as Russia and Armenia and encourages the free movement of goods and services. services.

Over the past year, Pashinyan has offended Russia by refusing to allow a Moscow-led security alliance to hold exercises in Armenia and refusing to participate in an alliance summit.

Russia was also angered when Armenia joined the Treaty of Rome, which created the International Criminal Court and which issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges for expulsion of children during the war with Ukraine.

However, Pashinyan attended a meeting of the union’s Supreme Council in St. Petersburg on Monday.

The union “and its economic principles should not be correlated with political ambitions,” Pashinyan said at the meeting. Armenia “is trying to suppress all attempts to politicize Eurasian integration.”

Armenia is heavily dependent on Russian trade and hosts a Russian military base, but relations have deteriorated over the past year as the Russian peacekeeping force failed to unblock the road leading from there. Armenia to the ethnically Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan took full control of the region in a lightning offensive in September.

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