President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I am very happy to see you.
There is no need to describe our bilateral interstate relations: indeed, this is a strategic partnership. I am very pleased to state this and note that our relations are developing successfully.
Of course, we also have objective problems – I am referring first and foremost to our economic cooperation, although also here we understand that overall we can be satisfied with the way we have built a foundation for our relations. I have no doubt that we will advance in this direction based on our joint decisions from previous years.
You are heading the CSTO this year, and I very much hope that I will be able to talk with you as the chairman of this international organisation, because it is responsible for security issues, the fight against terrorism and organised crime, and ensuring that everything remains calm on our borders. But we also have an Armenian – an international official, but your colleague nevertheless – who is now heading our leading economic integration union, the Eurasian Economic Union.
So we have much to discuss, and I am very happy to see you. Welcome.
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: Thank you, Mr President.
I am very happy to meet with you and I agree with you 100% that our relations are developing very well. This is a good tradition in general – meeting at the start of the year to sum up the results of the previous year and set new goals for current year.
We have a complete mutual understanding in the political, economic, military technology and humanitarian spheres, and these relations are developing very nicely. I want to thank you for implementing the agreements that we reached during our previous meetings.
As chair of the CSTO, we are giving a great deal of attention to implementing the decisions we made during the September and December CSTO meetings.
Naturally, we are troubled by the situation in the regions directly adjoining the CSTO’s zone of responsibility. And as I said at the December meeting and in my other speeches, I will once again openly state that we firmly support Russia’s position on Syria. And naturally, we welcome the ceasefire agreement that you reached with the United States. This can become a key to resolving this issue through political means.
Today, the Candidates Chess Tournament 2016 opened in Moscow, and since the Armenian Chess Federation is a sponsor of this tournament, we have dedicated its opening to the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.
A large civilisation exhibition at the Russian History Museum also opens today; I am sure that Russian citizens will like this exhibition, and it will contribute to strengthening the fraternal ties between our peoples.
Mr President, I want to thank you personally for Russia’s efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We remain committed to a peaceful resolution of this conflict.
Thank you very much.