Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, Serzh Azatovich,
These talks with the Armenian President continue our traditionally full and rich top-level bilateral contacts. We saw each other just recently, and you could say that we practically never even parted, meeting not long ago in Moscow and in St Petersburg. But the main thing is that we have reaffirmed our mutual commitment to developing our strategic partnership and allied cooperation.
We discussed in detail the outlook for our bilateral business and humanitarian ties today and exchanged views on key regional and international issues.
The historically close cooperation between Russia and Armenia is picking up in pace and substance today. The figures we heard today reflect the real dynamic of our relations: trade turnover has increased by two thirds and is now close to $1 billion. Russia is the biggest investor in the Armenian economy with total capital investment now more than $1.2 billion.
It is in our common interest to consolidate these positive trends and continue to encourage investment and production and technological cooperation. This is all the more so as big Russian businesses such as Gazprom, Russian Aluminium, Vympelcom and Vneshtorgbank are working successfully in Armenia. Serzh Azatovich and I agreed on a number of additional steps to advance major projects being carried out, including projects involving these companies.
Of course, we also need to encourage more active direct contacts between our business communities, between big business and also between small and medium businesses. This also contributes to shaping the level of cooperation between our countries.
Humanitarian ties, including multilateral ties, were also one of the main items on our agenda today. We held National Year events in both countries – the Year of Armenia in Russia and the Year of Russia in Armenia. These events created numerous opportunities for interpersonal cooperation through festivals, arts exhibitions and educational projects. Now we must work to preserve and nurture all that we achieved.
Armenia is one of the most active participants in multilateral humanitarian cooperation in the CIS, and this a very good thing.
I know that the first CIS humanitarian festival of Russian-language broadcasting has just taken place in Yerevan, and this autumn our countries will both be active participants at the third Forum of the CIS Intelligentsia. These are positive things. Such initiatives will continue to receive support at the highest state level.
Discussion of key international and regional issues was an important part of our talks. We reaffirmed our readiness to increase our cooperation within the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, in which Armenia will soon hold the presidency. I am certain that close cooperation between Russia and Armenia is a guarantee for the entire region’s stable and worthy development. Russia’s priorities in this respect remain unchanged.
Our position is that crises in the Trans-Caucasus should be settled exclusively through peaceful means, working through existing formats and maintaining strict respect for international law. Our country is ready to help find solutions that are in the fundamental interests of all the region’s peoples.
This applies in full to the situation in Nagorny Karabakh too. We underscored the mediator role played by the Minsk Group in the negotiation process and spoke too of new possibilities for stepping up the negotiations. We sense that there is interest on both sides.
Once again, I would like to thank Serzh Azatovich for the interested and constructive dialogue that has taken place. I am sure that our strategic cooperation and our work together as allies will continue their confident development for the good of our countries and peoples. This is very important for our countries’ future.
Serzh Sargsyan: Dmitry Anatolyevich, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to say thank you for the invitation, the warm reception and the constructive talks that are taking place as part of my first official visit to Russia as President of Armenia.
This shows that we want to continue building and expanding the strategic relations between Armenia and Russia. We have just signed a Joint Declaration that gives an assessment of the current state of our relations, reaffirms our mutual desire to intensify our cooperation, and outlines directions for its future development.
I want to highlight the main result achieved by today’s meeting. The substance and trusting spirit of our talks reflected in full measure the strategic level of our partnership.
We discussed a whole range of bilateral issues with the Russian President and also examined international and regional issues. We reaffirmed our readiness to continue work to improve the Commonwealth of Independent States in order to make our integration efforts as effective as possible.
We noted the importance of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. We examined the organisation’s current objectives, especially in the context of Armenia’s upcoming presidency of the organisation and our plans to hold the first large-scale military command exercises – Rubezh-2008 – in Armenia in September.
I am certain that cooperation in the fuel and energy sector, science, nuclear energy, high technology and the creation of advanced technology are the most promising areas for our cooperation, and one of the most important instruments we have in this respect is the dynamic development of direct cooperation at the regional level between our countries.
We agreed to look for new ways to build up our bilateral cooperation and are ready to pay our utmost attention to developing concrete mutually beneficial projects.
Cultural and scientific exchanges and closer civil society contacts all help to bring our peoples closer together, spiritually enrich them and strengthen our countries’ strategic partnership. I am sure that the results of today’s substantial talks will give a positive boost to our intergovernmental ties and have benefits for the lives of all citizens of our two fraternal countries.
I have invited Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev to make an official visit to Armenia this year to continue our dialogue.
Once again, I would like to thank the Russian Federation’s leadership for the warm reception, the very productive talks, and for the desire for continued cooperation that we will build for the good of our two peoples.
Thank you very much.