April 25, 2018 / 6:41 PM / 8 months ago

Armenian opposition leader says assured Russia won't intervene in crisis

A man holds an Armenian state flag during a rally held by supporters of opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan, Armenia April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday he had met a Russian official and got reassurance that Moscow would not intervene in Armenia’s political crisis.

Armenia is a close Russian ally and the crisis there has seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets in anti-government protests over the last two weeks that forced the resignation of Serzh Sarksyan as prime minister on Monday.

“I had a meeting with an official from Moscow and got reassurance that Russia would not intervene in Armenia’s internal affairs,” Pashinyan told protesters gathered in Republic square in central Yerevan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Armenian President Armen Sarkissian by phone earlier in the day and they agreed that political forces in Armenia need to show restraint and be ready to solve the crisis through talks, the Kremlin said.

Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; writing by Margarita Antidze; editing by Mark Heinrich

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