Vladimir Putin met with Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the sidelines of the 2019 St Petersburg International Economic Forum. They discussed important aspects of the Russian-Armenian strategic partnership, regional cooperation and interaction in integration structures.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, colleagues, friends,
I am glad to welcome you again – this time in St Petersburg.
I have no doubt that you will find it interesting and, hopefully, useful to take part in discussions at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
It offers you a good format in which to meet your colleagues, talk with them and discuss current issues on the economic agenda, as well as to talk about political issues, so I would call it a useful and important event.
There is no need to characterise our bilateral relations as we do this regularly: we met quite recently and discussed many issues and had the opportunity to talk about everything on the sidelines of the EAEU summit in Kazakhstan.
Let me remind you that Russia is Armenia’s leading trade and economic partner, which accounts for 26 percent [of Armenia’s foreign trade], plus direct investment worth two billion [dollars] and many other things that show that we maintain special relations of two allies.
I am glad to have the opportunity to meet with you today and discuss the entire range of issues.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr President.
I am glad to meet with you again in St Petersburg. Recently, we met in Nur-Sultan. For the first time, we met a year ago [May 14, 2018, in Sochi]. During this year, we have met repeatedly and talked about practically all possible issues on our common agenda.
I would like to say that, in my opinion, our relations are developing consistently. These are strategic, allied relations between our countries, as you said. And this refers not only to bilateral relations; we actively cooperate within the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS and the CSTO.
I think that all these areas are of strategic importance for our countries. I am happy that we have an opportunity to consistently promote our relations in these areas.
I would like to say that we have rather optimistic economic indicators this year: 7.1 percent economic growth at the end of the first three months. In April, the economic activity indicator was 9.2 percent.
Why am I talking about this? These are good indicators not only for Armenia but also for the Eurasian Economic Union, because our economic indicators are largely linked with our relations within the Eurasian Economic Union and the Armenian business community’s access to the Russian market. This is very important. I hope that we will manage to reach such solutions to certain issues that would not to disrupt these fine economic growth rates.
I would like to say that we also have rather good growth this year in terms of the number of tourists coming to Armenia from Russia. Today we can hear Russian spoken everywhere in Armenia, both in the capital and in major tourist spots.
When I meet them, I always make a point of inquiring how they feel in Armenia. I can say with certainty that Russian tourists feel very well in Armenia. And it is obvious that increasingly more Russian tourists will be coming to my country.
This is good, of course, because, I think, this is not an economic matter alone; it concerns our cultural and humanitarian ties. These contacts, I think, facilitate the development of our political and economic relations.