Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
I am very pleased to see you. Thank you for coming. There are some issues we need to discuss, and there are some things that simply give us cause for satisfaction.
I have looked at recent documents, and although our trade is still small in terms of value, it has increased by 84% in the first nine months of the year, and that is of course an impressive figure.
I am aware that Armenia is preparing to mount a specialised exhibition as part of the CIS economic forum in St Petersburg next year. Of course, the relevant Russian agencies, ministries and Armenia’s partners will render every assistance to the Armenian companies.
Our programme connected with treaty obligations and Russia’s participation in some businesses is making good headway. There are though some technical issues which I think we should discuss today in order to keep up the momentum. There are also some humanitarian issues to be discussed. So, I am very glad that you have come.
I met the Caucasus religious leaders in Moscow recently: the Catholicos of All Armenians, representatives of the Georgian Church and the leaders of Azerbaijani Muslims. Of course, all of them were also received by Patriarch Alexy II. We had a very good talk. And on that same day I talked with the newly elected President of Azerbaijan and we discussed the prospects of Karabakh settlement.
I am pleased to have an opportunity to exchange opinions with you personally on this problem. I think that the Azerbaijani leadership is very positive about it, although of course it is a complicated and deeply rooted problem. Nevertheless, the mood is positive and I think we will have something to discuss in that regard today.