Russian President Vladimir Putin (Right) shakes hands with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (Left) during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow 27 December 2018

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian at the Kremlin on Thursday and spoke of a “good dynamic” in Russia’s relationship with Armenia.

Putin began the meeting with Pashinian by congratulating the latter on his My Step alliance’s “convincing victory” in the December 9 parliamentary elections. “I want to wish you success in the realization of all objectives which you set for yourself and your team to the benefit of Armenia and the Armenian people,” he said.

In his opening remarks publicized by the Kremlin, Putin also praised “truly allied relations” between the two nations and growing trade between them. “I think that the dynamic is good,” he said. “It must be maintained.”

“We will do everything in our power to maintain this level of our relations not only in this sphere but also in other directions,” he added, referring to the CSTO and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Pashinian responded by saying his country is determined to continue “integration” within the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EES).

“We are committed to further integration within the Eurasian Economic Union and treat seriously our chairmanship in the EES,” Pashinian said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on December 27.

“I am confident that after our chairmanship we will have even more effective integration in the union,” Pashinian said, referring to Armenia’s rotating presidency of the EES that begins on January 1.

“We intend to deepen our relations in all directions,” Pashinian said. He invited Putin to pay an official visit to Armenia next year.

Neither leader made any public statements immediately after the talks held in the presence of other senior Russian and Armenian officials. Nor did their aides or press offices report any agreements reached by them.

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