Armenian PM says country’s partnership with EU does not contradict strategic ties with Russia

Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan has said that his country will maintain its strategic partnership with Russia, but will not refuse to cooperate with the countries of the European Union, emphasising that strengthening ties between the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and the EU is inevitable.

“Armenia has a comprehensive and expanded partnership agreement with the European Union, which we intend to use with maximum efficiency for the design and implementation of our reforms. Partnership with the EU in no way contradicts our membership of the Eurasian Economic Union. It complements it, enriching it with new features and benefits,” said Mr Pashinyan said during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The prime minister added that his government remains “committed to further improving the strategic partnership with Russia and having productive participation in the [Eurasian Economic] Union”, adding that it will advocate maximising integration in the EAEU, as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the post-Soviet military bloc under Russian leadership in which Armenian is also a member country.

On the sidelines of the St Petersburg forum on June 8, Mr Pashinyan held bilateral talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin, discussing prices for Russian gas and weapons to be exported to Armenia.