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Iran Press TV

Putin tells acting Armenian PM to resolve political crisis via legal means

Iran Press TV

Thu Apr 26, 2018 06:14PM

Russia has advised political leaders in Armenia to resolve the current crisis in the neighboring country "solely within the framework of the law".

Two weeks of mass protests in Armenia led to the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sarksyan, a close Moscow ally, plunging Yerevan into political crisis.

In a phone call on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin advised Karen Karapetyan, Armenia's acting prime minister, that the political crisis in his country should be solved only via legal means, Russian news agencies cited the Kremlin as saying.

The two leaders agreed "that the settlement of the crisis situation in Armenia must proceed solely within the framework of the law, within the framework of the Constitution and on the basis of the results of the legitimate parliamentary election held in April 2017," the Kremlin press service said, as quoted by Tass news agency.

Separately, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian held a phone conversation with Putin on Wednesday.

The two leaders agreed that political forces must show restraint and solve the crisis through dialogue, the Kremlin said.

"We believe that this is Armenian internal affairs. We hope that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible by constitutional means," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

In related news, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks in Moscow on Thursday with his Armenian counterpart Eduard Nalbandian and Armenia's acting vice premier, Armen Gevorkyan.

Russia's Foreign Ministry reiterated Moscow's hope that Armenia's ruling party and the opposition could hold talks about their differences.

"We truly hope that the situation will develop only in the legal, constitutional field and all political forces will demonstrate the responsibility and readiness for a constructive dialogue," Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in her weekly news briefing.

Armenia's opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan has emerged as the anti-government forces' favorite.

On Wednesday, Pashinyan said he had received assurance from Russia which has two military bases in the ex-Soviet republic that it would not intervene in the country's domestic affairs.

Earlier, Pashinyan ruled out the possibility of closing Russian military bases in Armenia or quitting membership of Russia-led military and economic alliances.

In a bid to de-escalate the rising tensions, Armenia's parliament on Thursday set May 1 as the date to elect a new prime minister.

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