Russian spy chief meets Armenian PM days after CIA chief Burns did
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - The chief of Russia's foreign spy service met Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan this week, just three days after CIA Director William Burns visited Yerevan for talks, the Armenian government said.
Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), met Pashinyan on July 18 in the same room where Pashinyan received Burns on July 15, according to pictures of the two meetings released by the Armenian government.
Armenian statements on the two meetings were similar: they discussed bilateral relations and also questions of international and regional security, including in the South Caucasus, the Armenian government said.
Russia's Sputnik state news agency quoted Naryshkin as saying: “My visit to Yerevan is definitely not connected with the arrival of my American colleague. But I don’t exclude that his visit is on the contrary connected with mine.”
Armenia is a Russian ally and Moscow has peacekeeping troops in Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian-controlled region of Azerbaijan, where Armenian forces were driven back in a disastrous war against Azerbaijan in 2020. In recent months, Armenia has held talks aimed at normalising relations with its NATO-member neighbour Turkey.
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