Armenia's new PM meets with Russia's Putin for the 1st time

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, May 14, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with Armenia's new prime minister for the first time after former protest leader Nikol Pashinian was elected to the post.

Nikol Pashinian, an opposition figure who spearheaded weeks of nationwide protests, was elected by parliament last week. He and his supporters had pressured the country's long-term leader, Serzh Sargsyan, to step down rather than seek a power grab. Sargsyan's ten-year rule was marred by widespread corruption.

Landlocked Armenia hosts an important Russian military base and has been reliant on Russia's cheap energy supplies.

After meeting with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Pashinian on Monday vowed to "give a new impetus" to Armenia's relations with Russia and said "no one has ever doubted" that Russia is a strategic ally for his country.


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