Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the leaders of member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to support Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who has been under pressure in Yerevan for signing a Russian-brokered agreement that stopped a war in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region last month.
Speaking at an online summit of CSTO leaders on December 2, Putin said Pashinian "had to make painful but necessary decisions" to stop the conflict.
"Everybody at today's session understands the level of responsibility when such decisions are made. [Pashinian] took that responsibility and our task now is to support the prime minister as well as his team in their efforts to establish peace, achieve the implementation of all of the decisions made, and assist people who found themselves in very difficult life situations," Putin said.
Pashinian, in turn, called Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh "a guarantor of security in the region" and emphasized Putin's "exclusive role" in "stopping the bloodshed."
A day earlier, Azerbaijan completed its reclamation of three districts held by ethnic Armenian forces for nearly three decades, in accordance with the truce signed on November 9.
The deal, which also allowed Azerbaijan to keep control of territory in and around Nagorno-Karabakh captured in the 44 days of fighting, halted the worst clashes in the region since the 1990s.
Opposition parties in Armenia have been holding demonstrations in Yerevan for days to condemn Pashinian’s handling of the war and demand his resignation.
CSTO members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.