Question: A question for both presidents. At the beginning of the meeting you said that you would discuss the issue of Nagorno Karabakh. How do you see the prospects for a solution to this problem today?
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I think that in general our discussions are heading in the right direction. Recently we have witnessed a number of steps, small but nevertheless important steps that have brought both sides together at the meeting between the President of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan in Moscow which, incidentally, resulted in the signing of the Moscow Declaration on November 2, 2008. What does this declaration reflect? It reflects common approaches to a settlement based on the fundamental principles of international law, on agreements that have already been reached and are, in my opinion, solid and comprehensive foundations for a settlement. Both the contacts I have had recently (I met with the President of Azerbaijan not long ago) and our current negotiations with the President of Armenia confirm that the parties are ready to move in a positive direction to address this very complex problem, so I think in this sense the development is quite encouraging.
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: The core issue of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is the territory's status, and as you know, for many years Azerbaijan has always talked about territorial integrity or military means to resolve this issue. I am certainly glad that following the President of Azerbaijan's working visit to Moscow, it was words about the principles of international law that were on his lips. Of course I am pleased that the President of Russia has reiterated his position that the issue of Nagorno Karabakh can only be resolved on the basis of all principles of international law. We aspired to this and we agree with this, therefore, it is possible to move forward in resolving the issue.
Question: Mr Medvedev, you mentioned at the beginning of the meeting that a lot of Russian companies operate in Armenia. Don't you think that the crisis may affect their work, their prospects and the general development of trade and economic relations?
Dmitry Medvedev: The whole point of the crisis has been that it's affected everyone, and obviously not for the better. What is the point in trying to hide it? But our relations with Armenia are so close that we can arrange things so that if we are affected by the crisis the consequences are minimal. The President of Armenia and I have just been discussing economic cooperation and some very specific aspects of it. I even called some colleagues in the Government Cabinet and business in order to keep things moving, trying to figure out where we might use some special economic mechanisms, where we might be able to make use of guarantees. As we have such a close relationship, partnership, and alliance, I believe this is absolutely justified.
This, incidentally, could help reduce the costs caused by the financial crisis, that is, help minimise its impact, minimise the impact of the financial crisis on our major projects. We really do have a lot of such projects, and as the President of Armenia said today our trade is in fact worth about a billion dollars, and the total Russian investment in the Armenian economy comes to 2.5 billion dollars. That is an impressive amount, particularly when one recalls that not that long ago, six or seven years ago, the figures were rather different. For this reason we have to protect all of this, not just so that we can get through this period until the crisis lets us alone and we can all resume our normal lives, but so that we can do something useful in the next few months, in the next year, during the time that we can expect to have financial difficulties. This is why we are promoting the energy projects that already exist and infrastructure projects as well. We talked about this today as well. I hope this will be useful.