President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, I would like to warmly welcome you to St Petersburg. I am very happy that you have come here to discuss the problems we are facing and the development of our bilateral relations. I hope that tomorrow we will also have the opportunity to participate in the [St Petersburg International Economic] Forum and discuss current issues of international politics and international economy.
Life is hard right now, and in order for us to overcome our difficulties, we need to meet often, which is what we have been doing. We have had many meetings recently, and I feel this is good for the development of Russian-Armenian cooperation and the development of our personal relations. It helps us to find targeted solutions to specific problems. I hope that today’s meeting will also help us to move forward on a number of issues.
As usual, we have a wide-ranging agenda. We will talk about the economic matters, our joint projects, humanitarian cooperation, and regional issues; we will discuss all the most important and sensitive topics. Overall, though, we have a special partner relationship, which we will continue to develop in the future.
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: Thank you, Mr President. Thank you for your invitation to the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. This Forum is particularly important in the current setting of the global financial and economic crisis.
I would like to thank you for granting Armenia a loan of 500 million dollars, which will help us in overcoming the negative effects of the crisis.
Following our last meeting, we worked with our Russian colleagues on implementing the agreements that we made. We worked diligently on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh problems, maintaining contacts with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. We are dedicated in our search for ways to allow the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to live safely in their native land and be in charge of their own destinies.
In a few days, a session of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organisation] will be held in Moscow where we will take further steps to set up a collective force, including a rapid reaction force. You know how much we value our CSTO alliance, and we are determined to improve our cooperation within this organisation at political, military, and military technical levels. This is something we are focused on.
My spouse and I fondly recall Ms Medvedeva’s visit [to Yerevan on May 5, 2009]. I am very happy that our spouses succeeded in assisting the new staging in Armenia of the ballet [Spartacus] by Aram Khachaturian, the staging which is the work of the great Russian choreographer Yury Grigorovich. I think this marks a further step in expanding our humanitarian cooperation. We are determined to move forward in this area, too.
Thank you for your invitation. I am happy to discuss our wide-ranging agenda with you.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you. Let’s begin addressing these issues.