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Russian, Armenian defense ministers discuss situation in Armenia

The conversation had been initiated by Russia

MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu has held a telephone conversation with his Armenian counterpart Vagharshak Harutiunyan to discuss the situation in Armenia and the Russian peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"The defense ministers discussed pressing issues related to the implementation of the Russian peacekeeping mission’s goals in Nagorno-Karabakh, the situation in Armenia and a number of other issues of mutual interest," the statement reads.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said earlier that Harutiunyan and Shoigu had discussed the situation in Armenia and the Russian peacekeeping mission, adding that the conversation had been initiated by Russia.

On Thursday, the supporters and opponents of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took to the streets in the country’s capital of Yerevan following a statement by the General Staff, which demanded the resignation of the prime minister and the government. Pashinyan slammed the demand as a coup attempt and announced his decision to dismiss Chief of the General Staff Onik Gasparyan. According to the Armenian Constitution, it is the country’s president that appoints and dismisses the General Staff’s chief. However, if the president fails to uphold the prime minister’s decision, it will automatically take effect in 15 days. The Armenian presidential administration said that the president had received Pashinyan’s proposal but had not signed it yet. Meanwhile, the Armenian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that it was unacceptable to involve the Armed Forces in political processes.