President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, it is a pleasure to see you. As we agreed, we are continuing our regular meetings and intensive dialogue, getting together, meeting in bilateral and multilateral format. We just saw each other in Chisinau, where we discussed the opportunities and difficulties before the Commonwealth of Independent States, and then we had a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan, on the very complicated matter of settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. I think that Russia’s participation as a mediator in this process is also an important dimension of our relations.
Today we have the chance to discuss our bilateral relations, the international agenda, and regional issues too.
Unfortunately, the crisis has spared no one, and our bilateral trade has also decreased of late. This is not good news, of course. It is not a dramatic fall, I looked at the figures just now, but the decline is nonetheless significant, around 20 percent. This is cause for concern, obviously, and we need to reflect on how to turn this situation around, because it is very important that Armenia and Russia keep up the pace of trade and economic development that we had set.
In other areas the situation is quite good. When it comes to our humanitarian ties, you yourself have made a significant contribution, visiting Orenburg and Rostov-on-Don, and as far as I know, you are heading off to Kaliningrad, too. We are very pleased to see that you are travelling around the regions and meeting with the Armenian community here. I think that our relations benefit from this, and these contacts with the regions do much to strengthen our dialogue in general.
I wish you a warm welcome. We have not met here before. This is a quiet place and gives us the chance to discuss all the different issues.
Once again, I am pleased to see you.
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan: Thank you, Mr President. Thank you for your warm words and for the invitation.
A trusting political dialogue is the main driving force behind our relations, and this kind of bilateral meeting in an informal setting is an excellent opportunity for looking through the whole spectrum of our ties. I think that the work we have done over the last two-three years has helped us to make important advances in our economic cooperation, military and technical and military and political cooperation, and our humanitarian ties. I think we therefore have a big and diverse agenda today.
I would like to thank you for your personal involvement in efforts to settle the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. I thank the Russian leadership and you personally for supporting us in developing our relations with the Republic of Turkey. The Russian Foreign Minister’s presence at the signing ceremony [of the protocols on normalising Armenian-Turkish relations] further confirms Russia’s desire for peace and lasting security in the South Caucasus. I am therefore pleased to be here today, and I think that our conversation today will make a substantial contribution to developing our relations.