What to expect from Pashinyan's new-year visit to Kremlin?

What to expect from Pashinyan's new-year visit to Kremlin?

Armenia's acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has left for a working visit to Moscow, where he will be received by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The politician has posted on Facebook his photo from on board the plane.

According to the Hraparak newspaper, Yerevan shouldn't expect a lot from today's meeting with the Russian leader. The newspaper recalls that no agreement was reached during Putin's 4-hour meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

At the same time, a source from the Armenian Foreign Ministry told the newspaper that the meeting will be "held as normal," because Nikol Pashinyan has not taken any step which would move Moscow's concern, in contrast to Serzh Sargsyan, who awarded Mikheil Saakashvili in 2008, or Robert Kocharyan, who was promoting the Meghri swap.

Hraparak noted that the statements of Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s and his deputy Grigory Karasin suggest something else. The newspaper believes that Russia’s only concern is that there will be no change in political course in Armenia.

The Kremlin reported yesterday that Putin and Pashinyan will discuss key issues on the bilateral agenda, and prospects for cooperation in Eurasian integration associations.

The writer, journalist, Vesti FM radio station host Armen Gasparyan, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that in Moscow Pashinyan will have to face the harsh realities of the Russian-Armenian relations. "It’s one thing when Pashinyan makes statements while being a member of parliament - it was pure populism. But now he became the head of state and it’s time to realize that what he said in parliament is not possible. Russia has been Armenia's main strategic partner, whatever they say in Yerevan," he stressed.

"That is, in fact, now things are about the same as they were before the change of power. Armenia will continue to cooperate with Russia as the main military and economic partner, so Pashinyan left for the talks to finally fix this point. The parliamentary elections were held, and it is time to move on to solving challenges currently facing the republic. One of them is a new gas discount, and I admit that some compromise solution is possible," Armen Gasparyan said.

The issue of the new CSTO Secretary General will also be discussed. "The CSTO story is a clear indication that Pashinyan tried to realize his populist statements and then faced harsh reality. When the intent to arrest Khachaturov was announced, the CSTO member countries were greatly surprised. I think that after the talks and numerous consultations, Armenia will agree with appointing the representative of Belarus as CSTO Secretary General," the expert suggested.

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