The two presidents discussed further deepening of bilateral cooperation in various areas, including integration cooperation within the Eurasian space.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am very happy to see you.
You and I do meet regularly and have telephone conversations, and we meet at various forums and have bilateral meetings almost every time – with the press as today, or without it. In any case, we always have things to discuss, considering the special nature of relations between Russia and Armenia and Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union and its full-scale participation in another one of our integration associations – the CSTO. I would like to discuss a few matters with you in this respect.
It is a pleasure to know that Russia remains Armenia’s leading trade and economic partner. Last year, compared to 2013, our trade turnover increased significantly, but unfortunately, there has been a reduction during the first 6 months of this year. This is also something we will touch upon in our conversation today; there are some finer points there that I don’t have ready answers for, and I would like to talk to you about it.
In any case, we are very happy to see you here in Moscow. Welcome.
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: Thank you for your invitation, Mr President.
Our bilateral agenda is actually quite intense with new initiatives being regularly added to it. Our regular meetings make it possible to sum up work on the previous agreements and respond to new developments.
The previous detailed discussion of our agenda took place in Yerevan, when you were taking part in events commemorating 100 years since the Armenian genocide; then we also had an exchange during the celebrations in Moscow marking the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, and then in Ufa, of course.
Over this period, a number of issues important for Armenia were resolved. I would like to thank you for handing the criminal case against serviceman Permyakov over to the Armenian justice. Thank you very much.
Today we have signed an agreement with the Energy Ministry to reduce the gas price by $25 down to $165. We also signed an agreement on extending to Armenia a $200 million concessional loan, which would make it possible to upgrade the Armenian armed forces’ arsenals. We have also signed an agreement to modernise the Armenian nuclear power plant – it has already come into effect and work has begun.
The launch of the Eurasian Economic Union brought about new realities in our relations. A lot still needs to be done to give concrete substance to this integration association and do some real things for our peoples. We are ready for such work and we are interested in a speedy implementation of the principle of free movement of goods, capital, services and work force – this is very important for us.
Within this context, the price of energy resources remains a key issue for Armenia. In the current critical situation currency fluctuations have a painful effect on the tariffs and I hope that we would find new solutions, good solutions.
I would like to thank Russia and you for your efforts to search for ways to resolve the Karabakh conflict. There has been a lot of tension on the border over the past two weeks. Azerbaijan is using artillery in addition to large-calibre guns. And we are forced to respond, this is something I will speak about in detail at the CSTO summit in Dushanbe.
Finally, I would like to say yet again that our humanitarian contacts are developing very dynamically. A branch of the Moscow Lomonosov State University recently opened in Yerevan and a Russian school will soon start working. In a few weeks, Yerevan will be hosting the 3rd forum of MGIMO alumni. I believe this would also help improve our relations.
I would also like to note the good work of the Intergovernmental Commission. Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.