The discussion covered key bilateral issues and prospects for cooperation in Eurasian integration associations.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Pashinyan, friends,
We are very happy to see you in Moscow. This is your first visit after your convincing victory in the elections, the victory you and your supporters scored. I would like to wish you success and good luck in implementing all of the plans you set forth for yourself and your team for the benefit of Armenia and the Armenian people.
There is no need to describe our relations. These are truly allied relations filled with substantial content. Suffice it to say that we confidently hold the first place in Armenia’s economic cooperation with foreign states – Russia accounts for 25.5 percent. Over 2,000 enterprises are operating – 2,200 to be precise. Trade is growing. Last year it went up by almost 30 percent – 29.7 percent, I believe. In the first ten months of this year it increased by almost another 18 percent – 17.5 percent.
I think this is good dynamics, and we need to maintain it. We are ready to do this on our side. We will do all we can to keep relations at this level, and not only in trade but also in other areas. I am referring to security and our cooperation in the CSTO as well as our versatile cooperation in the Eurasian Economic Union.
To sum up, we have a very full, intensive agenda. We are glad to see you. Welcome.
Acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr Putin. Thank you for the invitation.
I am also very happy to see you, and to see our colleagues. Indeed, I have already lost count of our meetings. But at the airport, the protocol team told me I was one of the most frequently visiting foreign leaders to the Russian Federation, or rather I was in the top three. I am sure this underlines the context of our special strategic relationship. I am sure that the dynamics of our relations will continue. And I hope that it will develop further. We are also looking forward to your official visit to Armenia next year. We will be pleased to see you.
Our political and economic relations are certainly growing. It is gratifying to see the growing interest from Russian tourists in Armenia. There was a publication in the Russian media that Armenia will be the most popular destination for Russian tourists next season, and in comparison with last year, the flow of tourists will grow by 70 percent. This means that people are not only interested, but that Russian tourists are well received, and feel at home in Armenia. This emphasises the depth of our relations: not only political and economic, but also human relations, and cultural ties. I am sure that all these contacts will grow.
Recently, an early parliamentary vote was held in Armenia, and I am pleased that it was a free election and in compliance with the law. I am happy that international observers also noted this, including observers from the Russian Federation – many observers participated in the election.
We intend to develop our relations in all areas. I am confident that the newly elected parliament will also develop bilateral parliamentary relations with Russia. We are also positive about further economic relations.
We are committed to further integration as part of the Eurasian Economic Union, and we take Armenia’s EAEU presidency very seriously. I am confident that as a result of our presidency we will have even more effective integration in the Eurasian Economic Union.
I am sure that we have a rather long agenda for today's discussions, and we are positively minded. I am sure that we will have positive results.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.