May 9, 2018 / 5:32 PM / 9 months ago

Armenia's new PM says will meet Russian president on May 14

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Armenia’s newly elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday he would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next week on the sidelines of a summit of the Russia-led economic union summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Opposition leader Pashinyan was elected prime minister by Armenia’s parliament on Tuesday, capping a peaceful revolution driven by weeks of mass protests against corruption and cronyism.

After being installed as prime minister, Pashinyan said he hoped to meet Putin for talks soon. The Kremlin said Putin had sent Pashinyan a telegram congratulating him on his appointment.

“It’s confirmed now that I’ll meet Putin on May 14 in Sochi ... and we will continue discussions, which we’ve started during a telephone conversation,” Pashinyan said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

The post was recorded in a helicopter on his way back to Yerevan from Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous part of Azerbaijan, run by ethnic Armenians who declared independence from Baku during a conflict that erupted as the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991.

Moscow, which has a military base in Armenia, is wary of an uncontrolled change of power which would pull the country out of its orbit, but Pashinyan has offered assurances that he will not break with the Kremlin.

Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; writing by Margarita Antidze; editing by Gareth Jones

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