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Moscow Reacts to Resignation of Armenian PM Sargsyan

Serzh Sargsyan Kremlin Press Service

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned on Monday after days of anti-government protests in the capital Yerevan and other cities.

Sargsyan, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had served as Armenia's president for a decade until earlier this month and had faced accusations of clinging to power when parliament voted for him to take up the post of prime minister.

His resignation is unprecedented for a post-Soviet country, but Russian officials on Monday largely cheered on the protests, hailing them as an example of democracy.

Asked earlier on Monday whether Moscow was concerned about the unrest, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was Armenia’s “domestic affair.” “Why should Moscow interfere?” he asked.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

“A people which is strong enough to stick together and be respectful towards one another, despite categorical differences even in the most difficult moments in its history is a great people.

"Armenia, Russia is with you always!”

Igor Lebedev, Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR)

“The Armenian people are sick of the situation, champions! No one wants to put up with the same person leading the government for decades. Change of leadership and parties is crucial!”

Leonid Kalashnikov, head of the State Duma's committee on CIS affairs

“I’m positive about Sargsyan’s resignation. It was a manly and wise decision [to resign.] He’s been in different situations, but he didn’t go for bloodshed or pitting the security services against the people, which could have ended very badly.”

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