The Russian President calls Pashinyan’s decisions to end the conflict “necessary” but “painful”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hailed the “courage” of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to agree to a Nagorno-Karabakh peace agreement that sparked a backlash against the leader at home.
On November 9, after six weeks of fierce fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, Armenia signed a Russian-brokered agreement with Azerbaijan.
Under the agreement, Armenia ceded three districts around the ethnic Armenian enclave, in addition to four others that Azerbaijani forces recaptured during the fighting.
During a videoconference meeting of the leaders of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Putin described Pashinyan’s decisions to end the conflict as “necessary” but “painful”.
“It took a lot of personal courage from the prime minister,” Putin said.
“Our job now is to support both the prime minister and his team to ensure peace,” he added.
The Russian leader’s support for Pashinyan came when the Armenian prime minister came under pressure at home.
Protesters have regularly taken to the streets of the Armenian capital, Yerevan, since the peace agreement was announced, which leaves Karabakh’s future political status in limbo.
Protesters branded Pashinyan a “traitor” for agreeing to the deal and called for his resignation.
The Armenian authorities said last month that they had foiled a plot to assassinate the prime minister.
Pashinyan, whose wife and son were on the front lines during the conflict, said the peace deal was Armenia’s only option and ensured Karabakh’s survival.
Although the disputed region has lost parts of its territory, its future is guaranteed by nearly 2,000 Russian peacekeeping forces deployed on a renewable five-year mandate.