A few weeks ago, when it became obvious that the change of power in Armenia was irreversible, and the reins of executive power would pass into the hands of the opposition forces led by Nikol Pashinyan, immediately heated discussions began among the public of both countries, which were especially hot in social networks. Of course, the changes expected in our country and abroad were primarily of Russians’ interest, who were worried that Armenia could completely change its foreign policy priorities to the detriment of the Armenian-Russian relations.
It is no secret that during the years of Serzh Sargsyan's presidency, it was he and RPA party led by him, also some Russian political figures of Armenian origin who, according to the Russian propaganda, were considered the most loyal political force in Armenia. Of course, the Russian public prevailing part’s undisguised negative attitude to our "velvet" revolution was quite understandable and logical until recently. These sentiments were "warmed up" in every possible way also by our “neighbors”, who have intensified over the past few weeks in the virtual space, trying to "open the Russians’ eyes" and throwing their disinformation garbage about the events and the new government in Armenia into the virtual space.
Although Nikol Pashinyan repeatedly stressed in his speeches that Armenia is not going to change its foreign policy, in particular, concerning allied relations with Russia, as well as membership in such organizations as the CIS, CSTO and the EAEU, also in spite of the fact that literally a few hours after Prime Minister Pashinyan's election he received congratulations from Putin, obviously a kind of message from Vladimir Putin to the political elites, information sites and analysts of both countries, however, the Russian public’s unfriendly attitude has not changed. I would like to note that, however, this message reached some, for example, the infamous Mikhail Leontiev, who recently made a very incompetent statement to our country and the authorities. He publicly apologized to Nikol Pashinyan, moreover, did it not as a separate person, but as an official representative of the Rosneft organization.
In any case, there was no doubt that only the meeting of both countries leaders and the separate dialogue within the EAEU summit framework held in Sochi could bring certain clarity to the further Armenian-Russian relations. And it did.
The newly-elected Prime Minister of Armenia received a warm welcome from all his colleagues, however, the most important thing is that his meeting with the Russian president was quite effective. Putin was the first of all his colleagues to meet with Pashinyan. Despite the fact that earlier this meeting was qualified as informative by the Russian president assistant Ushakov, nevertheless, it should be noted that the Russian president talked with the Armenian Prime Minister much longer than with other high-ranking guests.
From all the respectful protocol expressions I’d like to highlight the most important accents, sounded from both leaders’ lips, which, first of all, proceed from the interests of their countries, and which they tried to communicate to each other. I think they succeeded.
Vladimir Putin stressed: "Moscow will actively work with Yerevan also in the international arena, within international organizations, starting with the UN, where Armenia and Russia have always supported each other, and ending with our regional organizations - both in the security and economic spheres development". The hint is quite transparent and does not need comments.
As for Nikol Pashinyan, he also quite unambiguously noted the priority interests of our country - the sphere of defense and tourism. If the topic of deliveries of Russian arms and ammunition was not unexpected, then our prime minister's remarks about the intention to increase the flow of Russian tourists to Armenia were somewhat unexpected, and they can be classified as pleasant surprises.
I think there were some other important discussions during the closed meetings, however, judging by the final speeches of the leaders, the first meeting was held in a rather positive atmosphere and, in my opinion, the parties were pleased with each other.
Last but not least: fate wished that this would be the first meeting after being elected to high office for the leaders of both countries. Don’t you think this is quite symbolic? So, we can only equip with patience and optimism and wish good luck to the renewed Armenian-Russian relations.