MOSCOW — Armenia is our close friend and strategic ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he accepted credentials from a number of foreign Ambassadors.

He congratulated the fraternal Armenian people and the leadership of the country on the Independence Day to be celebrated tomorrow.

“This year marks two significant anniversaries at once: the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries and the 25thanniversary of signing of the fundamental Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance,” the Russian President said.

“Russia and Armenia maintain an intensive political dialogue. This year alone, Nikol Pashinyan and I met three times, including most recently in Vladivostok at the Eastern Economic Forum. In November, Yerevan will host the annual summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” he added.

He called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to “show restraint” and “strictly adhere to the ceasefire” that stopped last week’s large-scale fighting on the border between the two states.

“Let me emphasize that any conflict situations between states close to us cause us serious concern,” he said after accepting the credentials of recently appointed ambassadors of 24 nations, including Armenia, at a ceremony held in the Kremlin.

“We call on everyone to show restraint, strictly adhere to the ceasefire, and firmly follow the tripartite statements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he added in a speech.

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